NBC fired Matt Lauer over a year ago after he was accused of sexual harassment in and outside of the workplace. Although Lauer was big part of the show’s success over the years, Today ratings have continued to rise following his exit.
The dynamic team of Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb have contributed to the ratings bump — and it all started after Kotb started filling in for the disgraced host.
A year after morning news shows at CBS and NBC abruptly lost male anchors Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer in sexual misconduct scandals, the “Today” show has done appreciably better weathering the storm. https://t.co/o8DcE0yQKM
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) December 21, 2018
According to In Touch Weekly, NBC executives noticed that ratings rose whenever Kotb filled in. Kotb’s popularity was a major factor in their decision to give her Lauer’s old post, and their high hopes for her have obviously paid off.
“There was concern when Matt Lauer left that they would be hurt more than turned out to be the case,” Horizon Media expert Garth Tiedje shared.
The numbers prove that female viewers really connect with Kotb. In fact, she has been able to attract more than double what Lauer brought — at least in the older women demographic.
Although the ratings are good, they still fluctuate from time to time.
The ratings for last week, for instance, were down around 20 percent from last year’s numbers. The talk show is also currently averaging three percent less viewers than before Lauer’s scandal.
Lauer was fired in Nov. of last year after several women came forward with sexual misconduct allegations. The scandal proved difficult for Lauer’s co-hosts to handle, and even Guthrie admitted that it was hard breaking the news to fans.
The Today host revealed that she was “terrified” when she heard the news because she had no idea who would replace Lauer. Fortunately, Guthrie has developed a close bond with Kotb and could not be happier about the casting decision.
While the ratings news is positive, NBC has been rocked with several scandals since Lauer’s exit. This includes Megyn Kelly’s shocking exit a few months back.
As fans will recall, Kelly was forced to leave Today after she made controversial comments about the use of blackface for Halloween. She is still reportedly in negotiations to settle her contact.