NBC News announces firing of ‘Today’ host Matt Lauer, cites ‘inappropriate sexual behavior in workplace’
NEW YORK – NBC News announced the firing of Today host Matt Lauer Wednesday.
Lauer was terminated for “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace,” according to the network.
Today’s Twitter account confirmed the news, and Wednesday’s show announced Lauer’s firing to viewers:
Matt Lauer has been terminated from NBC News. On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment.
According to a memo sent to staff from NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack, the network received a “detailed complaint” from a colleague about inappropriate behavior from Lauer. A review found Lauer’s conduct violated company standards, Lack said, leading to Lauer’s termination.
The statement said the allegation was the first against Lauer in his 20 years at NBC. However, NBC was also “presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”
“We are deeply saddened by this turn of events,” the statement to employees said. “But we will face it together as a news organization–and do it in as transparent a manner as we can.”
Savannah Guthrie, Lauer’s longtime colleague, said the staff was informed about Lauer’s termination just moments before Wednesday’s show was going on air.
“This is a sad morning at Today and NBC News,” she said during the broadcast. “As I’m sure you can understand, we are devastated. I’m heartbroken for Matt. He is my dear, dear colleague.”
Hoda Kotb appeared on the set with Guthrie during the announcement. She said she’s known Lauer as a colleague for 15 and told viewers it was “hard to reconcile” what they’re hearing about Lauer with the man she’s come to know as a friend.
Just last week, CBS fired longtime broadcaster Charlie Rose amid claims of sexual harassment.