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

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Tech mogul looks to grow Vernon’s presence in Okanagan wine industry

The founder of online dating site Plenty of Fish is developing 900 acres in the city hillsides

North Okanagan ranch needs support to stay afloat

Founded in 1867, a fundraiser has been launched for the Historic O’Keefe Ranch

Bronze for Vernon’s Casey Brown at Psychosis mountain bike race

Brown finished third at the Aug. 5 race in Golden, part of the CLIF Crankworx Summer Series

Pup stolen from Vernon temporary shelter reunited with owner

Nicola Sanders says her son’s puppy was ‘overjoyed’ to see her owner again

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Mitchell’s Musings: Hockey’s comeback begins in earnest in August

Sports is back. Well, at least sports in a bubble is back.… Continue reading

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Fentanyl-laced powder being sold as cocaine in Kamloops

Interior Health has released a warning about very strong fentanyl in Kamloops

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Video: Enraged man terrifies staff and customers at Shuswap restaurant

Video on Facebook shows the man hurling profanity at workers during the dinner rush on Aug. 7.

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Number of Kelowna-linked COVID-19 cases grows to 159

Interior Health reported four new cases region-wide on Friday, 18 remain active

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

Most Read