Matt Lauer fired over inappropriate sexual behaviour

NBC News fires Matt Lauer over alleged inappropriate sexual behaviour

NBC News fired longtime “Today” show host Matt Lauer on Wednesday for “inappropriate sexual behaviour,” making him the second morning television show personality to lose his job because of sexual misconduct charges in a week.

Lauer’s co-host Savannah Guthrie made the announcement at the top of Wednesday’s “Today” show. Last week, CBS News fired Charlie Rose after complaints from several women who worked for him.

NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack said the network had received a complaint from a colleague on Monday night, but gave no details of the alleged misconduct. A review determined it was a clear violation of company standards, he said. It was the first complaint lodged against Lauer, but Lack said in a memo to staff that “we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”

Related: Comedian Louis C.K. says allegations of sexual misconduct are true

Lauer, 59, has hosted “Today” for two decades. When paired with Katie Couric, “Today” was the longtime ratings leader and was highly lucrative for NBC. It now runs second in the ratings to ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Many “Today” show viewers took out their anger for the unsightly 2012 firing of co-host Ann Curry on Lauer, sending the show plunging in the ratings. But NBC stuck with Lauer and the show had steadied with his pairing with Guthrie. The show runs for four hours, with Lauer and Guthrie hosting the first two.

He joins a lengthening list of media figures felled by sexual misconduct charges this year. Besides Rose, they include Lauer’s former NBC News colleague Mark Halperin, former Fox News prime-time host Bill O’Reilly and National Public Radio newsroom chief Michael Oreskes. The New York Times suspended White House correspondent Glenn Thrush last week.

Messages to Lauer and his agent were not immediately returned.

Lack, in his memo, said that “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.” There were reports that, before the firing, some media organizations were looking into Lauer’s behaviour. The morning host is married with three children.

Related: ‘This isn’t a new problem’: Survivors, allies host #MeToo rally

Guthrie co-hosted Wednesday’s show with Hoda Kotb, who said both of them were awakened with the news Wednesday morning. Guthrie appeared to fight back tears as she called Lauer her friend who is beloved by many at NBC, and said she was “heartbroken for my colleague who came forward to tell her story and any other women who have their own stories to tell.

“We are grappling with a dilemma that so many people have faced these past few weeks,” she said. “How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly? I don’t know the answer to that. But I do know that this reckoning that so many organizations have been going through is important, it’s long overdue and it must result in workplaces where all women, all people, feel safe and respected.”

Two hours later, NBC’s Megyn Kelly noted the anguish on the faces of her colleagues but said, “what we don’t see is the pain on the faces of those who found the courage to come forward, and it is still a terrifying thing to do.”

Kelly, who has written about being sexually harassed by former boss Roger Ailes at Fox News Channel, has covered the issue aggressively on the third hour of “Today,” helping stabilize her hour of the program after it got off to a rocky start this fall.

On Twitter Wednesday, President Donald Trump said “Wow, Matt Lauer was just fired from NBC for ‘inappropriate sexual behaviour in the workplace.’ But when will the top executives at NBC & Comcast be fired for putting out so much Fake News.”

___

Associated Press writer Patrick Mairs in Philadelphia contributed to this report.

David Bauder, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Costs climb to more than $100K for BC SPCA to care for animals in Princeton farm seizure

Eight puppies, of the 97 animals seized have now died from parvovirus enteritis

Contract awarded to build washroom in Garnett Family Park

Bid accepted for facility at park in Heritage Hills/Lakeshore Highlands area

Former MLA Bill Barisoff endorses Veintimilla for Boundary-Similkameen

Barisoff served as MLA for the Okanagan-Boundary riding from 1996 to 2001

City of Penticton begins transition in staff leadership

Mitch Moroziuk will be retiring in January with Kristen Dixon taking over his role

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Outbreak at North Okanagan care facility not COVID-19

Scenario C respiratory illness outbreak declared Sept. 25 by Interior Health

Highway 6 limited in North Okanagan

Another crash reported by DriveBC following morning logging truck rollover

B.C. VOTES 2020: Wilkinson to stop 24-hour camping in city parks

Ban on ‘unsafe roadside panhandling’ to be enforced

West Kelowna start-up wins Emmy for virtual production on Red Bull Rampage

XR Media Group won the Outstanding Digital Innovation Award

RCMP seize guns, drugs, motorhome from Okanagan residence

Search warrant executed in relation to an ongoing investigation into drug trafficking

‘Hate will not be tolerated:’ North Okanagan mayor

City, groups speak out against racism-promoting flyers spread around town

Sound effects at play for Caravan’s Halloween event

Walk of Terror is returning, with a creepy twist

Two people injured after logging truck rolls over on North Okanagan road

Single-lane alternating traffic is in effect on Lumby-Mabel Lake Road near Birch Road

Most Read