Kotb had already been filling in for Matt Lauer — whose firing for alleged sexual misconduct abruptly ended a 20-year tenure — alongside co-host Savannah Guthrie, and the pairing has been a ratings hit, the magazine reported.
“Though the idea of a four-hour live broadcast seems like a relic in 2018, ‘Today’ is still a half-billion-dollar franchise for the network, and so it makes sense, then, that network brass wouldn’t seek to jostle its crown jewel,” Vanity Fair writers Emily Jane Fox and Joe Pompeo wrote.
According Vanity Fair, the show’s ratings were initially buoyed by viewers tuning in after Lauer’s firing, but then hung on throughout December.
“It’s not that complicated,” one unnamed source told the magazine. “The two of them rated together. You don’t touch something that’s working.”
Another unnamed source at NBC told the magazine: “Hadn’t heard anyone talk about anyone else,” and a third unnamed source asserted. “There was no one else.”