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.

Just Posted

Drug use a problem at Trail hockey games, warn RCMP

Police recommend changes to Trail Memorial Centre washrooms

Montrose moves to ban pot retail

Retail, production and distribution of non-medical cannabis sales prohibited under Montrose bylaw

Castlegar, Grand Forks areas to see cleaner winter roads under new contract

YRB set to take over 10-year maintenance contract on Monday

Setting sail to fight kidney disease

Trail’s annual Kidney Walk included an opportunity to raft down the Columbia River

MP Cannings spared brunt of Ottawa tornadoes

MP Richard Cannings was spared the impact of the tornadoes that hit the Ottawa region

VIDEO: Rare close encounter with whale pod spotted off B.C. waters

Pod of southern resident orca whales breach within arms length of whale watchers

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

B.C. could provide clues as to how New Brunswick electoral results shake out

Premier Christy Clark faced a strikingly similar scenario following the province’s 2017 election

Most Read