Matt Lauer, a veteran journalist and co-host of the “Today” show, was terminated by NBC on Wednesday for what the network called “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.”
by Dylan Stableford
(Yahoo News) – Savannah Guthrie, Lauer’s “Today” show co-host, made the announcement to viewers on the air at the top of Wednesday’s show.
“This is a sad morning here at ‘Today’ and at NBC News,” Guthrie said before reading a memo that had been sent by NBC chairman Andy Lack to staffers before the show went on the air.
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. pic.twitter.com/1A3UAZpvPb
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 29, 2017
“Dear colleagues, on Monday night we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer,” Lack wrote. “It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment.”
Lauer, 59, had been with the “Today” show since 1994. He became the co-anchor in 1998.
“While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over twenty years he’s been at NBC News,” Lack continued, “we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident. Our highest priority is to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected, and to ensure that any actions that run counter to our core values are met with consequences. No matter who the offender, we are deeply saddened by this turn of events but we will face it together as a news organization — and do it in as transparent a manner as we can.
“We just learned this moments ago, just this morning,” Guthrie said, holding back tears. “As I’m sure you can imagine, we are devastated. We are still processing all of this. And I will tell you, right now we do not know more than what I just shared with you. But we will be covering this story as reporters, as journalists. I’m sure we will be learning more details in the hours and days to come. And we promise we will share that with you.”
Guthrie was seated next to Hoda Kotb, who replaced Lauer on Wednesday’s show.
“We are heartbroken,” Guthrie said. “I am heartbroken for Matt. He is my dear, dear friend. He is my partner. And he is beloved by many, many people here. And I’m heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story and any other women who have their own stories to tell.”