In a memo released just before “Today” went on the air, NBC News President Andrew Lack announced that longtime anchor, Matt Lauer had been terminated from NBC.
Fighting back tears, co-anchor and best friend, Savannah Guthrie, read the memo with Hoda Kotb by her side.
“On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer 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.”
After reading the memo, Guthrie shared, “Matt is a a dear, dear friend. I am heartbroken for him and heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story. How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly?”
Guthrie also said, “as painful as this moment is for the show and our culture, this change had to happen.”
She went on to say, “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.”
Lauer has been the leading man on “Today” since 1997.