Hoda Kotb and Gayle King have risen up the ranks in the morning show world since Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose were ousted from their perspective morning shows for an array of sexual harassment allegations.
According to an exclusive interview with the Hollywood Reporter, both anchors continue to keep in touch with their former colleagues despite the shocking circumstances of their firing. What do they have to say?
Matt Lauer fans were shocked when teary-eyed Today hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb announced that Lauer was fired due “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.”
In early January, Kotb replaced Matt Lauer as the Today show co-host, and even now, she still keeps in contact with the man who THR calls the “linchpin of NBC’s 500 million Today” and who has ruled the morning show world for over two decades.
Kotb revealed that she and Guthrie were in such shock over the news, and the two “blindsided” women “had a moment of prayer” before they went on the air to announce the shocking news to their millions of viewers.
Savannah Guthrie explained that they had little information when they went on the air, and they were not “holding back.”
“We were literally both woken up out of our beds with this information. We had no idea. We had to go on the air and say something with very little information. In fact, the information we said was [all] the information we knew, it wasn’t like we were holding back.”
Although Hoda Kotb has benefited from the departure of Matt Lauer from the Today show, she has clearly remained friends with him.
She explained to THR that she had “known him” since her first days at NBC in 1998.
When Kotb discovered she had cancer, she revealed that Matt Lauer was the “first to call.” She went on to explain how Matt Lauer was “incredible in that way” and that the former anchor “helps.”
Yet, the 53-year-old anchor admits that this was the Matt Lauer she knew as a friend and a colleague. Then, there was another side to him that she was not familiar with that led to his public downfall.
“There is that Matt and then there’s the Matt that the accusers speak of.”
While Kotb does not downplay the accusers’ stories and insists that “those accusers’ voices matter, and that story matters,” she remains friends with Lauer and calls this situation “complex.”
When asked if she still talked to Lauer, Savannah Guthrie did not elaborate or say anything more than “yes.”
Neither was whether Lauer discussed the circumstances of the allegations. They also didn’t discuss the rumors of the demise of Lauer’s marriage to Annette Roque.
CBS This Morning anchor Gayle King can say that she experienced the same shock as Kotb and Guthrie when Charlie Rose was ceremoniously fired for sexual harassment.
The anchor, who is best known for being Oprah’s best friend, explained that Rose “tells me that he’s fine.” But she admits she is “worried about him” and that she cares about him.
Yet, like Hoda Kotb, King admits she cannot “dismiss the stories that I’m hearing. Yet, she still considers Rose “a friend,” but a friend that “really let you down.”
When she heard the accusations, she claimed that it felt like a “kick in the stomach.”
Yet, Gayle says she has talked to him about the stories but will not share what transpired in their conversation, as she will “let him speak for himself.”
More than anything, Gayle explained that they were already in the “middle of the #MeToo conversation,” yet she “never saw that coming for us,” referring not only to the anchors at CBS but also at NBC.