NBC has fired veteran Today host Matt Lauer, citing “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace”
In a memo to staff, NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack said executives on Monday night “received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment. While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over twenty years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”
Lauer, 59, has been with Today for more than two decades, first as a news reader in 1994 before becoming the show’s co-anchor in 1998.
He has worked alongside Katie Couric, Meredith Vieira, Ann Curry, and most recently, Savannah Guthrie.
Savannah Guthrie told viewers, “As I’m sure you can imagine, we are devastated and we are still processing all of this.
“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.”
She added she was “heartbroken for Matt. He is my dear, dear colleague.”
CBSNews and PBS last week fired newsman Charlie Rose, a co-anchor of CBS This Morning and host of the public-broadcasting showcase Charlie Rose after The Washington Post presented the accounts of eight women, three of them on the record, who alleged he had made unwanted advances.
Updated: Variety has now published further details following a 2 month investigation. Three unnamed women identified themselves as victims of sexual harassment by Lauer. The article alludes to sex toys, lewd comments verbally or over text messages, dropping his pants, and consensual relationships which raised questions about power. “Lauer had positioned himself as America’s squeaky-clean dad. But behind the scenes, Lauer was a different person,” it suggests. “For Lauer, work and sex were intertwined.”