And the hits just keep on coming. NBC News has fired Matt Lauer, who has anchored Today (i.e. The Today Show) since January of 1997. According to reports, Lauer was terminated for behavior in violation of company standards. The network states it made the decision in the wake of an investigation spurred by a colleague’s complaint.
Today host Savannah Guthrie broke the news this morning, with her NBC colleague Hoda Kotb seated beside her at the anchor desk. Watch a clip, below. Al Roker, Carson Daly, Jenna Bush Hager, Natalie Morales, Sheinelle Jones, Craig Melvin, Willie Geist, and Dylan Dreyer also contribute to the NBC morning show.
NBC Terminates Today Host Matt Lauer
WATCH: Here are TODAY's headlines on this Wednesday morning pic.twitter.com/opzA3IcYmP
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 29, 2017
Guthrie read a statement from NBC News chairman Andy Lack, in which the honcho said it was the first complaint lodged against Lauer since he was named anchor in 1997. NBC was presented with the information on Monday, as well as “reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”
“As you can imagine we are devastated,” Guthrie said, after reading Lack’s statement, telling viewers she had learned of the firing “moments ago.”
The announcement got NBC News out in front of several reports about Lauer that had been in the works at print news outlets, an informed source tells Deadline. New York Post reported Wednesday morning Lauer had allegedly sexually assaulted a female NBC staffer during the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014; she reported it to NBC HR on Monday. In 2016, NBC News signed Lauer to a new contract reputedly worth around $20 million per year in compensation.
Here is Lack’s statement, via Deadline:
On Monday night, we 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.
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. To that end, Noah and I will be meeting with as many of you as possible throughout the day today to answer your questions.
Finally, here’s a link to the New York Post article, referenced above, by Deadline.
What do you think? Are you a Today Show fan? Will you keep watching, now that Matt Lauer is gone? Who should take his place? Sound off, in the comments.