It feels a bit odd - not to mention expensive - using a completely separate studio for an hour that's now fully Today-branded. I expect this is only temporary and they'll either give the 9am hour a new Today-related brand of its own, or move it back to 1A for consistency.
It’s not really expensive. They own the studio and I don’t think there is a any renting scheme like there was at the BBC. Of course they could try and rent it out but the shows that would use it - syndicated ones already have their studios for the rest of the season and NBC probably planned not to rent it for several years.
As for staffing the third and fourth hour have their own teams (although with Megyn Kelly gone they could be using the regular show or her existing producers). They’ve always have a second control running for the third and fourth hours and enough staff so they can be taped while the show is updated for the western half of the country.
Don’t let anyone treat you like you’re a VO/SOT when you’re a PKG.