Matt Lauer fired from NBC News
NEW YORK, NY. -- Matt Lauer was fired from NBC News on Wednesday after an employee filed a complaint about "inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace," the network announced.
Savannah Guthrie made the announcement at the top of the "Today" show, where Lauer has been an anchor for two decades.
Guthrie said she was informed just moments before going on air.
"This is a sad morning at "Today" and NBC News," she said. "As I'm sure you can understand, we are devastated. I'm heartbroken for Matt. He is my dear, dear colleague."
Guthrie also said she was heartbroken for the woman who accused Lauer of misconduct, noting "it's long overdue" that women feel comfortable coming forward against abusive men.
Hoda Kotb, on the set with Guthrie, said she has known Lauer for years and "loved him as a friend and a colleague."
"It's hard to reconcile the man who walks in everyday" with the person who was identified in the complaint.
NBC News Chairman Andy Lack released a statement Wednesday morning about the firing of Lauer.
Below is Lack's full statement:
"On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. It 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 twenty years he's been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.
Our highest priority is to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected, and to ensure that any actions that run counter to our core values are met with consequences, no matter who the offender.
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. To thatt end, Noah and I will be meeting with as many of you as possible throughout the day to answer your questions."
Lauer, 59, was named a co-anchor of "Today" in January 1997 after three years as the newsreader.
This is a developing story. Stick with ABC 57 News for the latest updates.