Lauer was shown the door by NBC on Wednesday, following an allegation of sexual misconduct against a colleague that emerged earlier this week.
American television presenter Matt Lauer has been sacked from his job fronting one of the country’s biggest morning shows, after NBC fired him following an allegation of sexual misconduct from a colleague.
The 59 year old veteran host of NBC’s ‘Today’ show was shown the door by the network on Wednesday morning (November 29th) after one of Lauer’s colleagues came forward with a “detailed complaint” on Monday, it has been reported.
Lauer’s co-hosts, Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, announced the news at the start of Wednesday morning’s show – having apparently only been told about his departure a few minutes before they went on air.
Matt Lauer has been fired from NBC's 'Today' show
“This is a sad morning here at Today and NBC News,” Guthrie announced, before reading out a letter sent to NBC staff from the network's chairman Andrew Lack, which suggested that the incident that the colleague came forward with may not be “isolated”.
Lauer had been a part of the show since January 1997, and is rumoured to be one of America’s most highly paid TV presenters with insiders suggesting his annual salary is up to $25 million. His position had been prestigious enough to allow him to interview the last four sitting U.S. presidents.
“We learned this moments ago, just this morning. As you can imagine, we are devastated. And we are still processing all of this,” Guthrie tearfully told viewers about her ex-colleague. “I will tell you, we do not know more than what I just shared with you. But we will be covering this story, as reporters, as journalists."
She added that she was “heartbroken” for her “dear friend… and I'm heartbroken for the brave colleague that 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 weeks… But I know 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.”
Lauer is the second high-profile news presenter to face allegations of sexual impropriety in their professional capacities. Last week, CBS news journalist Charlie Rose was hit with allegations of sexual assault.