It was the first complaint about Lauer in more than 20 years at NBC, but officials were given reason to believe it was not an isolated incident.
(New York, NY)—[CBN News] Veteran NBC Today Show anchor Matt Lauer has been fired after a colleague complained about inappropriate sexual behavior, according to a memo sent to staffers from NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack. (Photo: Matt Lauer/via CBN News)
Lack told the NBC staff we "have reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident."
Lauer's Today Show co-anchor Savannah Guthrie made the announcement about his firing at the start of the Today Show program Wednesday morning.
Guthrie said Lauer had been fired from NBC after a complaint of sexual harassment. She read a statement from Lack, stating that the company has received a detailed complaint from a colleague Monday night "about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace" by Lauer.
Lack's statement said the company found that after a serious review of the complaint it represented "a clear violation" of the company's standards, and Lauer was terminated as a result.
Lack added in his statement that it was the first complaint about Lauer in more than 20 years at NBC, but "we were also presented with a reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident."
Lauer, 59, had been a co-anchor of Today since 1997, according to NBC, and joined the show as the "news anchor" in 1994. According to reports, he was the highest paid individual at NBC News.
Guthrie said she and her co-anchor Hoda Kotb had only learned of Lauer's firing moments before they went on the air, saying, "We are devastated and are still processing this."
"All we can say is that we are heartbroken," she added.
Lauer joins a list of media personalities felled by sexual misconduct charges this year. They include Lauer's former NBC News colleague Mark Halperin, former CBS News and PBS anchor Charlie Rose, former Fox News prime-time host Bill O'Reilly and National Public Radio newsroomchief Michael Oreskes. The New York Times suspended White House correspondent Glenn Thrush last week.