‘Today’: Ratings show replacing Lauer with Hoda Kotb was a winning strategy
The ‘Today’ show’s Al Roker says Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb were the “perfect people” to step in after the Matt Lauer sexual misconduct scandal. Robert Deutsch, USAToday
NEW YORK – 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.
Momentum at “CBS This Morning,” the most buzzworthy morning show for a handful of years, stopped dead with Rose’s firing. Last week CBS announced the exit of Ryan Kadro, the show’s top executive who had worked there since its 2012 launch, leaving an uncertain future.
“Today” is hardly problem-free – remember Megyn Kelly? – but it has the steadiest audience of all three network morning shows. The elevation of Hoda Kotb into Lauer’s role is widely perceived as a winner.
Rose lost his job in November 2017 following allegations of improper behavior with women who had worked with him. Lauer’s downfall, also due to reports of inappropriate relationships with women, came less than two weeks later.
The NBC show currently averages 4 million viewers a morning, a 3 percent drop from 2017 before Lauer’s exit, the Nielsen company said. CBS has lost 10 percent of its audience in the same period, to just under 3.2 million. ABC’s “Good Morning America,” the first-place broadcast with 4.1 million viewers, lost 5 percent of its audience.
The long history of “Today” likely helps it absorb hits. The show launched in 1952 and while it has had missteps – it has never recovered the dominance it enjoyed prior to the ham-fisted departure of Ann Curry a decade ago – “Today” viewers can be confident it will be around tomorrow.
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