Matt Lauer, longtime host of the Today show on NBC, has been fired after a colleague came forward to NBC executives Monday night with a detailed complaint about sexual misconduct on the part of the leading morning-news anchor.
NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack sent out a memo to network employees Wednesday morning announcing Lauer’s termination and the reasons for it. The statement was also read on air Wednesday morning by Lauer’s longtime co-host Savannah Guthrie, who delivered the news to viewers.
The allegations against Lauer, Lack wrote, “represented, after a serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment.”
Lack also told NBC workers that management had reason to believe the misconduct “may not have been an isolated incident.”
Here is the full NBC statement that ran at the top of the Today show this morning:
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 20 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.
Guthrie and Hoda Kotb helmed the morning show Wednesday in the wake of Lauer’s abrupt departure. Both women said that they had received the news of Lauer’s termination in the “predawn” hours Wednesday morning, before they were scheduled to go on air.
Longtime co-workers of Lauer’s, Guthrie and Kotb told viewers that they themselves were still grappling with the news. Guthrie was visibly emotional as she delivered the news and shared her personal reaction to the story.
“We are still processing all of this,” Guthrie told viewers, adding that they would be covering the story as it developed.
“All we can say is we are heartbroken. I’m heartbroken,” she continued, calling Lauer a “dear, dear friend” who was “beloved by many” at NBC News.
“And I am heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story,” Guthrie said. “How do you reconcile your love for someone with the recognition they behaved badly?”
One person who wasn’t heartbroken? Y’all’s pussy-grabbing president, who celebrated Lauer’s firing via (c’mon, you know how) Twitter.
Lauer’s firing comes just a week after Charlie Rose, a longtime CBS reporter and host of CBS This Morning, was fired after eight women accused him of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.
At this point, can we just hand over all the news shows to Cardi B?