Hoda Kotb will be Matt Lauer's permanent replacement as co-anchor of "Today," but NBC is still paying her around $18 million less per year than her male predecessor, according to a new report.
NBC News chairman Andy Lack announced Tuesday that Kotb will officially replace Lauer, who was fired in November for "inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace," creating the show's first-ever all-female-fronted lineup.
Despite Kotb's new role, however, she is still being paid far less than Lauer, Page Six reported.
NBC sources told Page Six that Kotb landed a $7 million-a-year deal, the same as co-host Savannah Guthrie, while Lauer received $25 million a year before being fired.
The salary difference underlines the "huge wage disparity at NBC News," according to one "Today" show insider.
"Hoda isn't complaining about the money," the insider said. "She has landed the big job she always dreamed of, and most definitely deserves. Plus, Matt's salary reflected the long time he was on the show—25 years. If things go well, Hoda could ask for more next time if she re-ups her contract. But the figures underline the huge wage disparity at NBC News."
Megyn Kelly, another female NBC host in the "Today" show lineup, inked a deal for as high as $20 million a year for hosting the 9 a.m. hour after she left Fox News.
After Kotb's new role on "Today" became official, she said that Lauer sent her a "sweet" text congratulating her.
"He was sweet this morning. Certain texts popped up, and there was one from Matt: ‘Congratulations!' He said some nice words," Kobt told E! on Tuesday.
Kotb will continue hosting with Kathie Lee Gifford at 10 a.m. after she finishes the 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. time slot.