By Ryan Velez
Hoda Kotb got the coveted post of Today host after Matt Lauer was fired in disgrace for s*xual misconduct. However, she’s not getting the rewards that come with the job, and finally, she addressed these rumors herself for the first time, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
The exact nature of the pay gap between Kotb and Lauer isn’t clear, with different reports giving different numbers. While Lauer was reported to be making as much as $25 million per year during his time on the show, Kotb is reported by Page Six to be making a much lower salary of about $7 million per year. NBC hasn’t commented on a pay range, but Kotb recently told People that there definitely is a pay gap at work: “I’m not making Matt Lauer money. Not even close.”
Gender pay gap is a massive issue in just about any industry, but there may be another reason why: experience. It has been a tradition in TV for a while for newcomers to high-profile positions (and they don’t get much higher than Today) to make less than their predecessors. However, there are always exceptions. Megyn Kelly, who is making a reported $17 million, is a good example, but there were several networks looking to use her, which drove up the price a bit. If Kotb stays on the job for a while, she may be able to command a raise if ratings stay high.
Lauer managed to amass an impressive net worth during his time in the public eye. With over 20 years at the network, Lauer was one year into a two-year deal before being fired. If we wind back the clock a bit, we know he earned a 2014 contract for the same sum. This goes along with a 2012 deal that set his annual paycheck as high as $25 million per year. He may have earned $17 million a year prior to that.
At the time of the 2012 contract, then-NBC News president Steve Capus spoke highly of Lauer. “Matt is the franchise, and our franchise player has decided to keep leading our team.” It’s important to note that he also had other work with NBC outside of the Today Show. This included various exclusive interviews with NBC, moderating several presidential debates and covering the Olympics. How quickly things change.
While there is still some speculation, Matt Lauer’s net worth is roughly $80 million, with the potential to be higher. That money enabled some expensive purchases, including the 2016 purchase of Richard Gere’s 12-bedroom waterfront house in North Haven for $33 million. Lauer’s current contract runs through 2018. It’s not clear whether NBC will pay out the remainder of his contract. Equally unclear is his net worth should he remain unemployed for an extended period of time.