Hoda Kotb Should Totally Get The Same Salary As Matt Lauer & Here's Why

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

After Matt Lauer's breakup with NBC because of his alleged sexual misconduct (and being the next supervillain that nobody needed or wanted), NBC had been desperately looking for a replacement co-anchor for TODAY. Thankfully, NBC promoted Hoda Kotb, a journalist with decades of experience, to save TODAY; however, it seems that Kotb is getting paid a lot less than Lauer—in fact, she’s reportedly earning $18 million less than Lauer.

Kotb explained to People that she wouldn’t be getting the same salary as the former co-anchor, and apparently, neither will Savannah Guthrie.

“I think the whole money thing for me, I’ve always been sort of — I know it sounds ridiculous that I’m going to say this, but I really have done jobs I liked for the job I liked because I never wanted to be happy every other Friday on payday," Kotb told People. Like, I didn’t want that to be the happy day. I wanted to feel good throughout. So no, I’m not making Matt Lauer money. Not even close."

Although Kotb doesn’t seem fazed by the money, this issue isn’t really about the money. NBC has been under close watch after the sexual crimes Lauer allegedly committed while employed by the company. Though NBC has appropriately retaliated by terminating Lauer and fortifying its sexual harassment policies, the company is still under public watch because of Lauer’s misconduct.

It’s evident that Kotb’s new position is an outstanding breakthrough for equality, yet her paycheck still doesn’t compare to Lauer’s. While NBC’s decision to hire Kotb to create a revolutionary women-led show, that decision is muted by the fact these skilled journalists aren’t getting noble salaries.

So why exactly does Kotb a more worthy salary? There are several reasons:

1. She’s working double-time

As Kotb transitions into her position on TODAY to fix the mess that Lauer made, she will still be co-hosting her 4th hour show. The Metro reports that Kotb will continue to work on the 10 a.m. show with her co-anchor Kathie Lee Gifford, which means she’ll only have an hour between shows (seeing as the work day for her new gig ends at 9 a.m.).

This might not seem like an issue to those of us who work eight or more hours a day, but anchoring one show—let alone two—requires an exceptional amount of education, skill, and determination.

It’s stressful enough to emotionally and physically prepare to go live and talk about the news. And it’s nearly impossible to dissect stories then simultaneously transition to giving full-fledged makeovers and talking about rejection (among many other daily duties Kotb accomplishes on TODAY).

We still struggle to type an email before 6 a.m.; meanwhile, Kotb has already anchored two shows before our lunch break. Clearly, Kotb is a boss, and she should get paid like one.

2. She’s worked at NBC for the last 20 years

It’s obvious that Kotb is not only a dedicated journalist, she’s also a devoted NBC employee. After all, she’s been working at the company since 1998 and on TODAY since 2008, AdWeek reveals.

AdWeek also explains that since Matt Lauer’s dismissal, ratings have been steadily increasing. While you could claim that the rising scores could be a result of Lauer terminations, it’s clear that Kotb’s presence increased the viewership.  

3. She doesn’t have a button that traps victims in their offices

Seriously, Kotb and Guthrie don’t have any sexual assault or harassment allegations against them. While that shouldn’t be something that anyone puts on their resume, NBC was just scrutinized for Lauer’s alleged sexual harassment (because employees’ actions still affect the organization’s brand).

Therefore, it’s important to note that Kotb isn’t controversial—she and Guthrie are exceptional professionals who don’t put the company, or the show, at risk. (Unless of course they suddenly do something illegal or immoral, which hopefully they won’t.) Albeit this list references Kotb’s qualifications for a Lauer-era paycheck, Guthrie is just as deserving of a raise. Variety elaborates that, though journalists don’t typically start with the same wages as their predecessor, Kotb could eventually make the same amount of income.

Since accepting her co-anchor position in 2012, Guthrie still isn’t earning Lauer’s income either. Although Guthrie has only sat on TODAY for the last six years, it’s important to note that Lauer was renewed from his grossly inflated salary back in 2016, during another controversy of his

Regardless, Kotb and Guthrie have still made a historical TODAY milestone by being the first women-led show, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Nevertheless, it seems a bit controversial that NBC wouldn’t offer Kotb a competitive salary, given she’s spent 10 years at TODAY alone.

While we’re ecstatic to hear that Kotb will be co-anchoring TODAY  alongside Guthrie, it’s disheartening that NBC won’t be giving these skilled journalists a worthy salary. Maybe they should take a play out of Iceland’s playbook and give these outstanding journalists pay that’s equal to their controversial ex-coworker.