Here are two facts: 1) Throughout the tail end of Matt Lauer’s tenure at NBC’s Today, ABC’s Good Morning America beat it in the ratings, and 2) In the two weeks since Lauer was kicked to the curb for sexual misconduct and replaced by Hoda Kotb, Today’s viewership has surpassed GMA’s by a considerable margin.
Here are two opinions: 1) No one ever really liked Matt Lauer, but tolerated him as you would a friend you’ve known for 20 years but have nothing in common with anymore, 2) Hota Kotb makes everything better.
Variety reports this week that viewers are “flocking” to the NBC morning show now that everyone’s least favorite AM predator is no longer delivering the news. They write that Today is “not only capturing its usual lead among people between 25 and 54, the demographic most coveted by advertisers – but among overall audiences as well,” which makes perfect sense to me, someone who would happily listen to Hoda Kotb read anything aloud—from a Restoration Hardware catalog to Megyn Kelly’s memoir.
Speaking of Megyn Kelly, ratings on her show (the third hour of Today) are also on the rise, thanks to her recent interviews with victims of harassment—including those with claims against President Donald Trump. The Washington Post writes that Kelly’s continued coverage is “emblematic [of the show’s] shifting identity.”
Though Today’s overall ratings spike may not last, only a headless man with bad taste would fail to grasp why the improbably charming and reliable Kotb is such an improvement.