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Today show host Matt Lauer, a household name in TV journalism, has been fired by NBC News following an investigation into a complaint about Lauer’s inappropriate workplace sexual behavior.
In a memo sent to staff on Wednesday morning, NBC News Chairman Andy Lack said the network received a “detailed complaint from a colleague” about inappropriate behavior by Lauer on Monday night and, as a result, have terminated his employment.
Lack said that, “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’s co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb read Lack’s statement at the beginning of Wednesday’s show and went on to deliver emotional remarks about the news.
“As I’m sure you can imagine, we are devastated. For the moment, all we can say is that we’re heartbroken. I’m heartbroken for Matt—he’s my dear, dear friend and my partner, and I’m heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story,” Guthrie said. “We are grappling with a dilemma that so many people have faced these past few weeks: How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly? And I don’t know the answer to that.”
You can watch Guthrie’s full comments on Lauer’s firing below:
Soon after the news broke, Variety reporter Ramin Setoodeh said he and a colleague had been working on a story about Lauer for months, and that NBC News was aware of this. CNN’s Brian Stelter reported that the New York Times had also been working on a story about Lauer.
Lauer is the second male co-host of a network morning show to be fired from his job over harassment in recent weeks. Just eight days ago, CBS This Morning host Charlie Rose was fired by CBS News after detailed reports of harassment and misconduct.
UPDATE, 8:46 am: Page Six reports that Lauer allegedly sexually assaulting a female NBC staffer at the Olympics in Rio was the incident that led to his firing.
UPDATE 2, 10:16 am: On the air, an NBC News journalist reported the alleged assault took place at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, rather than Rio.
- Donald Trump has had a very busy morning on Twitter, retweeting a bunch of anti-Muslim videos from a far-right member of “Britain First.” And then he suggested a boycott of CNN.
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