After Experiencing Pay Inequality, Hoda Kotb Says to ‘Ask for What You Deserve’

The ‘Today’ co-host, now reportedly worth millions, said she might have been the “lowest paid correspondent” during her years at ‘Dateline NBC.’


Feb. 13 2024, Published 12:06 p.m. ET

Hoda Kotb
Source: Getty Images

As co-anchor of Today and co-host of the morning show’s fourth hour, Hoda Kotb is one of NBC News’s biggest names — and she reportedly has a net worth and a salary in the millions.

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But Hoda’s paychecks didn’t always have so many digits. The Oklahoma native recently revealed that she struggled to keep up with her bills earlier in her NBC News career.

Hoda Kotb worked her way up to an impressive net worth — and reportedly earns millions per year on ‘Today.’

Hoda Kotb
Source: Getty Images

Hoda started her broadcast career in 1986, working as a news assistant for CBS News in Cairo, Egypt, according to her NBC News bio. Later that decade, she anchored broadcasts for WXVT-TV in Greenville, Miss., and worked as a morning anchor and general assignment reporter for WQAD-TV in Moline, Ill.

Then, in the 1990s, came her jobs as a weekend anchor and reporter for WINK-TV in Fort Myers, Fla., and an anchor and reporter for the 10 p.m. news broadcast at WWL-TV in New Orleans, La.

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Hoda joined NBC News as a Dateline NBC correspondent in 1998 and started co-hosting Today’s fourth hour in 2007 alongside Kathie Lee Gifford and, later, Jenna Bush Hager. After Matt Lauer’s firing, Hoda became Savannah Guthrie’s permanent Today co-anchor and landed a $7 million-per-year salary, matching Savannah’s, according to Page Six. Now Hoda has a net worth of $30 million, Celebrity Net Worth estimates.

Hoda Kotb

TV personality, broadcast journalist, author

Net worth: $30 million (reported)

Hoda Kotb is a broadcast journalist who co-anchorsToday and co-hosts the NBC morning show’s fourth hour, Today With Hoda & Jenna. Her books include the memoir Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee, the nonfiction book Ten Years Later: Six People Who Faced Adversity and Transformed Their Lives, and multiple children’s books.

Date of birth: Aug. 9, 1964

Birthplace: Norman, Okla.

Parents: Sameha & Abdel Kader Kotb

Education: Virginia Tech

Marriages: Burzis Kanga ​(m. 2005, div. 2008)

Partner: Joel Schiffman (2013–2022)

Children: Haley Joy, Hope Catherine

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She’s earning millions per year anchoring ‘Today,’ but couldn’t pay her bills during her ‘Dateline’ years.

In a September 2023 episode of Today With Hoda & Jenna — as she and Jenna chatted about Vanna White’s Wheel of Fortune contract negotiations — Hoda opened up about experiencing “pretty clear” pay inequality during her time on Dateline. As she worked on the show from 1998 to 2007, she might have been Dateline’s “lowest paid correspondent,” she said.

“I remember thinking to myself, ‘I can’t pay my bills here,’” she recalled, per People. “I couldn’t pay all my bills at the same time. So I was like, ‘I’ll pay this one, and then pay that one.’”

Jenna observed that it was important for parents to teach children to be humble and hard-working but also unafraid to ask for fair pay, and Hoda concurred.

“Both things can be true,” Hoda added. “You can have grace and humility and still ask for what you deserve.”

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