According to an insider, the man's salary was a reflection of his long time as a co-host on the show, which was 25 years before his firing.
That news was covered that morning by Guthrie and Kotb, who filled in for Lauer. NBC notes that she has also received a Gracie award and an Edward R. Murrow award during her time with the network.
"Today" fans fell in love with Kotb after the show documented her battle with breast cancer nearly a decade ago.
Kotb, 53, will replace Matt Lauer, who was sacked on November 28, putting her alongside co-anchor Savannah Guthrie.
"It's 2018 and we are kicking off the year right because Hoda is officially the co-anchor of Today", announced Guthrie the news in the program's opening session.
Other candidates that were considered for Matt Lauer's role are reportedly disappointed, but given the understandable anti-men sentiment now active at the NBC network, it is anticipated that Willie Geist, Craig Melvin, Anderson Cooper, Brian Williams and Carson Daly will recover.
"The answer is no - that's not happening", Kotb responded when asked whether her weekly take home would be on the same level as Matt Lauer's previous salary.
She has been in various other shows besides The Today Show, including Your Total Health, a weekly syndicated show, and the Today fourth our co-host with Kathie Lee Gifford. "I misunderstood. Have a great day". Anchors and hosts need to prove staying power and show they are a ratings draw.
"My heart just went like, you know, it meant the world to see that", said Kotb.
An NBC spokesperson said the network doesn't comment on compensation and a spokesperson for CAA, the agency that represents Kotb, said executives there declined to comment. Women contributors were called "Today Girls" in the early years. Kotb is expected to earn around $7 million, which is the same salary that Guthrie makes.
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