After a two-month hiatus, Wendy Williams is back hosting her popular talk show The Wendy Williams Show. And, last week she sat down with Today Show host Hoda Kotb to ask some interesting questions about her relationship with Matt Lauer. Is it possible Kotb would be okay with the disgraced former host returning to the morning show?
When Williams asked Kotb if she was still Lauer’s friend, she took a breath and said “yes.” The 54-year-old also admitted that she was nervous about filling Lauer’s shoes after NBC abruptly fired him because of sexual harassment allegations, but that doesn’t mean the former colleagues don’t talk anymore.
Lauer puts on a brave face in the Hamptons https://t.co/HTsQoF7ghq
— MSN Entertainment (@MSN_Entertain) March 16, 2019
“We keep in touch with him. I mean, look, this is one of those complex situations,” Kotb recently told The Hollywood Reporter. “I’ve known him since I started working at NBC. When I was sick with breast cancer, he was the first to call. He helps and helped in ways that … you know, he was incredible in that way. There is that Matt, and then there’s the Matt that the accusers speak of.”
The allegations against Lauer also tore up Kotb’s co-host Savannah Guthrie, who has said that both she and Kotb had a close relationship with Lauer. But, the women have managed to make it through all of the changes in the last year and a half – including Megyn Kelly’s scandalous exit – and they have kept the long-running morning show’s ratings steady.
The Today Show is currently averaging 4 million viewers, which is just three percent lower than when Lauer was the star of the show. And, Kotb’s “Q score” – a statistic that measures popularity – is incredibly strong with women, who make up the majority of morning news show audiences.
Today has weathered the storm much better than CBS This Morning, who has lost ten percent of its audience after Charlie Rose’s exit due to his own sexual misconduct scandal.
ABC’s Good Morning America remains in first place in the ratings, but even they have lost five percent of their viewers during the same time period.
It appears that Rose was a much bigger part of This Morning’s success compared to Lauer at Today. And, that could be because Lauer’s reputation took a big hit years earlier when Ann Curry was fired.
Lauer was much more popular during the late 90s and early 2000s when he co-hosted with Katie Couric.
“There was concern when Matt Lauer left that they would be hurt more than turned out to be the case,” said Garth Tiedje, an analyst and senior vice president at Horizon Media.
The Today Show airs weekday mornings on NBC.