When Matt Lauer was fired from the Today show over allegations of sexual misconduct at the workplace, NBC executives reportedly assumed that viewers were “tuning in that day to see how Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb would cover the event.” After that, “they would return to their usual morning viewing habits, given the absence of the show’s longtime star.”
That has not been the case as ratings have remained steady, and in some cases, have risen after Lauer’s departure —to the “surprise” of some NBC officials. It shouldn’t have been that shocking, though, given the same thing happened with CBS This Morning after Charlie Rose was axed for similar accusations.
What television executives appear to be learning is that maybe, just maybe, that men — namely older White men — are not vital to the success of a news program. So much is catered to White men even when they don’t prove their worth, so it was only right that Kotb, Lauer’s immediate fill in, was permanently named co-host of Today. Many Today viewers were already familiar with Kotb as the co-host of the show’s wine-filled fourth hour she shares with Kathie Lee Gifford anyway.