In the wake of a sex scandal that included some truly heinous allegations, Matt Lauer has lost his wife. He’s lost his job. He’s lost any respect or trust that the American public once placed in him.
And NBC’s Today, which he hosted for decades, lost him as its host.
Now hosted by Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, how are the ratings doing? You might be shocked.
Matt Lauer is said to be broken and ashamed following the horrible accusations from his time at NBC.
Sweet, sweet schadenfreude aside, a lot of people wonder if NBC — while doing the right thing — effectively shot itself in the foot by firing Matt Lauer.
Before the accusations of sexual harassment and rape came out, Matt Lauer enjoyed tremendous popularity.
Some considered him to be akin to “America’s dad,” finding his occasional slip-ups during interviews to be adorable rather than red flags.
With Lauer gone, Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb are cohosts of Today.
While they’re definitely better choices than an alleged sexual predator and creep, how are the ratings going? Did viewers flee from the show when the scandal broke?
As it turns out, and you may be surprised by this, Today‘s ratings aren’t just good — they’re outstanding.
According to Nielsen results, Today ranks #1 among adults 25-54 and adults 18-49. Those are a couple of very coveted demographics.
Looking back to the same week last year, Today has improved its lead over Good Morning America by 16%.
This makes this Today‘s best streak in 5 years, in terms of raw numbers of viewers and in terms of key demographics.
Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie should be very proud of themselves.
Just after Thanksgiving in 2017, Matt Lauer was fired for alleged sexual misconduct.
At the time, NBC admitted that they had reason to believe that the incident that had been reported to them was part of a larger pattern.
And then the reports, which reporters had been quietly researching for weeks, began to surface.
Accusations included stories of dropping his pants or “gifting” sex toys to colleagues without invitation or consent.
One pants-dropping incident was allegedly followed by Matt Lauer lecturing the woman for not performing a sex act.
One sex toy-gifting incident allegedly included a creepy, detailed note describing the ways in which he wanted to use that toy on, again, a woman he worked with, who was literally just coming into work to do her dang job.
Matt Lauer was also accused of rape. According to the accusation, he used his creepy desk-based-door-locking-button to trap a woman in his office with him before bending her over and beginning the sexual assault.
He allegedly didn’t relent and unlock his door until she passed out.
As we alluded to earlier, Matt Lauer’s wife Annette Roque is officially divorcing him.
For a while, though, it seemed that Matt and Annette were trying to play nice for the sake of their children. Given the weight of the accusations against Matt Lauer — accusations of so much more than just cheating — that attempt was doomed from the get-go.
We imagine that their divorce process will be complicated and may grow contentious — these things always do. Especially when it comes down to money, division of property, and custody decisions.
(In other words, everything that matters in a divorce)
The ratings news is fantastic.
It’s especially good because the Winter Olympics are just about to begin.
For years, people have associated the Olympics with Lauer because he covered the event every time.
From recent accusations, the world has now heard how he used these NBC trips as a sort of hunting ground to invite or lure young, ambitious NBC employees to his hotel room.
It will be hard for some people to not notice Matt Lauer’s absence. That can lead to some awkward discussions.
So it’s wonderful to hear that Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie are doing Lauer’s Today job better than he has in years.