NBC announced on Tuesday that Kotb would be replacing Matt Lauer as the co-anchor of the “Today” show after Lauer was accused of sexual misconduct in the workplace. Kotb will join Savannah Guthrie to lead the first two hours of the program, making history as the first female co-anchors for that segment.
Kotb told People on Wednesday that neither she nor Guthrie are making the same kind of money Lauer was.
“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 pay day,” 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.”
Kotb did not mention what her contracted salary is, but Page Six reports that she and Guthrie are each making $7 million annually. Lauer ended his 25-year career at the network with a $25 million contract. And Megyn Kelly, who signed on to anchor the morning show’s third hour last year after great success at Fox News, makes about $18 million a year, according to a Variety estimate.
NBC and a representative for Kotb did not return HuffPost’s requests for comment.
“Today” ratings soared to beat rival “Good Morning America” after Kotb joined Guthrie in December. In an internal email announcing Kotb’s co-anchor role Tuesday, NBC News Chairman Andy Lack said Kotb and Guthrie have an “undeniable connection with each other and most importantly, with viewers.”
Kotb will also continue to co-host the show’s fourth-hour slot with Kathie Lee Gifford.