Richard Drew/ AP File Matt Lauer, co-host of the NBC “Today” tv program, appears on set April 21, 2016, in Rockefeller Plaza, in New York. NBC News revealed Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, that Lauer was fired for “inappropriate sexual habits.”
Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017|6:23 p.m.
New York City– “Today” show host Matt Lauer was fired for what NBC on Wednesday called “unsuitable sexual habits” with an associate and was without delay challenged with a released report accusing him of crude and habitual misbehavior with other females around the workplace.
With his relaxed charm, Lauer has long been a financially rewarding and extremely visible part of NBC News and among the highest-paid figures in the industry, and his downfall shook the network and stunned many of the approximately 4 million audiences who start their day with him.
He is easily one of the most significant names lowered in recent weeks by the wave of sexual misbehavior allegations that have actually swept through Hollywood, the media and politics.
Network news chief Andrew Lack stated in a memo to the personnel that NBC received a grievance about Lauer’s habits on Monday and identified he violated business standards. NBC said the misbehavior began when Lauer and a network staff member were at the Sochi Olympics in 2014 and continued beyond that project.
Absence stated it was the first complaint lodged against Lauer in his Twenty Years at NBC, however “we were also provided with reason to think this might not have been an isolated occurrence.”
NBC News received 2 new problems versus Lauer on Wednesday, “NBC Nightly News” reported. The network didn’t react to an ask for comment.
Earlier Wednesday, it was left to Lauer’s shaken “Today” colleagues, Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, to break the news to audiences at the top of the morning’s show.
Word of Lauer’s abrupt exit began the day of NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” special including the annual Manhattan tree-lighting event. Lauer was to have actually co-hosted the Wednesday night program with Guthrie, Kotb and Al Roker.
Hours after the shooting, the trade publication Range posted what it said was a two-month investigation that consisted of lots of interviews with existing and previous staffers who asked to stay confidential.
Among other things, Variety reported allegations that Lauer once provided a coworker a sex dabble a specific note about how he wanted to utilize it on her; that he exposed himself to another female colleague; that he would question female producers about their sex lives; and that he would talk about which co-hosts he would like to sleep with.
Messages to Lauer and his representative were not instantly returned, and NBC would not state whether he rejected or admitted to any misbehavior. He is wed with 3 kids.
Lauer becomes the second morning host in a week to lose his task over sexual misconduct allegations. CBS fired Charlie Rose after a number of women who worked for him grumbled about his behavior.
In other developments, former “Prairie House Buddy” host Garrison Keillor was let go by Minnesota Public Radio over an accusation of “unsuitable habits.” MPR offered no information, however the 75-year-old Keillor said he unintentionally put his hand on a woman’s bare back in an attempt to console her.
Lauer, 59, has essentially been the king of tv morning news since first being coupled with Katie Couric on “Today” in 1997.
For many years, “Today” was the unquestioned rankings leader, up until it was eclipsed by ABC’s “Good Morning America” following the awful 2012 firing of Lauer’s co-host Ann Curry. The show had stabilized recently with Lauer’s pairing with Guthrie.
Lauer’s “Where in the world is Matt Lauer?” sectors were popular for several years, and he frequently played a lead function at the Olympics and other major news events.
He signs up with a lengthening list of media figures felled by sexual misconduct accusations this year. Besides Rose, they consist of Lauer’s NBC News associate Mark Halperin, Fox News prime-time host Expense O’Reilly and National Public Radio newsroom chief Michael Oreskes. The New york city Times suspended White House correspondent Glenn Thrush recently.
The flood of accusations was set off in large part by the failure of Hollywood studio manager Harvey Weinstein, who has actually been accused of sexually attacking or harassing various women.
Ari Wilkenfeld, the attorney for Lauer’s accuser, applauded NBC for acting “quickly and responsibly” in response to the early morning host’s “outright acts of unwanted sexual advances and misbehavior.” The attorney did not identify his client.
Lack, in his memo, stated, “We are deeply saddened by this turn of events. However we will face it together as a news organization– and do it in as transparent a way as we can.”
An instant challenge is filling a giant hole on a program that has long been the most lucrative for NBC News. One prospective replacement, Willie Geist, on Wednesday called Lauer someone “I have always looked up to in business, and he taught me a lot.”
When it comes to Keillor, Minnesota Public Radio stated it will end distribution of the radio program “The Author’s Almanac,” Keillor’s day-to-day reading of a poem and informing of literary events, and end rebroadcasts of old “Grassy field Home Buddy” episodes.
“I meant to pat her back after she told me about her misery and her shirt was open and my hand went up it about six inches. She recoiled. I asked forgiveness. I sent her an email of apology later and she responded that she had forgiven me and not to consider it,” Keillor stated in an e-mail to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “We were buddies. We continued to be friendly right up till her legal representative called.”
On Wednesday’s program, Guthrie appeared to fight back tears as she called Lauer her pal who is beloved by lots of at NBC. She stated she was “sad for my associate who stepped forward to inform her story and any other females who have their own stories to inform.”
“How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly? I don’t know the response to that,” she said. “However I do understand that this numeration that so many organizations have actually been going through is very important, it’s long past due, and it needs to lead to work environments where all ladies, all individuals, feel safe and appreciated.”
Later on in the program, NBC’s Megyn Kelly, who has actually written about being sexually bothered by former boss Roger Ailes at Fox News Channel, noted the anguish on the faces of her coworkers but said, “What we do not see is the discomfort on the faces of those who discovered the guts to come forward, and it is still a terrifying thing to do.”
On Twitter, President Donald Trump said, “Wow, Matt Lauer was just fired from NBC for ‘inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.’ However when will the top executives at NBC & & Comcast be fired for putting out a lot Phony News.”
Trump also alluded to potential misconduct by 3 other NBC News figures, while using no details.
Natalie Morales, a former “Today” show associate who left the show for “Gain access to Hollywood” in 2015, said she was in shock about the story. She described stories that said she and Lauer had an affair, which they both rejected.
“I have personally handled rumors in the previous few years that were painful to me and to my household,” she stated. “They lessened my effort. I have actually resolved these rumors head-on in the past. It’s not the story today.”
Another former “Today” host, Deborah Norville, said she was stunned by the news.
“As a reporter, it’s distressing to see another from our ranks caught up in these type of scandals. However as we’ve seen, no occupation is immune,” she stated. “Unfortunately, I doubt if anyone will be amazed if there are similar headlines to come.”
Associated Press author Patrick Mairs in Philadelphia contributed to this report.