Matt Lauer fired by NBC News amid sexual misconduct claim

Matt Lauer fired by NBC News amid sexual misconduct claim

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Matt Lauer has been axed from NBC. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP) Matt Lauer has been axed from NBC. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

(RNN) - Matt Lauer, who has co-anchored the "Today" show for 20 years, has been terminated from NBC News amid workplace sexual misconduct allegations from a colleague.

Lauer was fired Tuesday night, CNN reported.

Lauer's sexual misbehavior started when he and the colleague were on assignment at the Sochi Olympics in 2014 and continued after that assignment, the Associated Press reported.

NBC News chairman Andrew Lack said in a memo released Wednesday that though the complaint was the first lodged against Lauer at the network, "we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident," CNN reported.

A detailed complaint was received Monday night, according to the "Today" show, but NBC News knew that Variety and New York Times had been investigating multiple sexual harassment claims against Lauer for months, CNN's Brian Stelter reported.

"Today" show cohost Savannah Guthrie announced the termination on air at the top of the show Wednesday morning. She said the "Today" crew was told moments before going on air. 

Hoda Kotb joined Guthrie as coanchor in Lauer's place.

Guthrie, with her voice cracking, said the crew was devastated to learn the news, and said she feels heartbroken both for Lauer and for the brave colleague who came forward.

She also said they don't know anything more than the statement they were given.

President Donald Trump weighed in on Lauer's firing on Twitter, using it as an opportunity to attack the media yet again. He called for the firing of top executives at NBC and Comcast "for putting out so much Fake News."

Trump also attacked Phil Griffin and Joe Scarborough once again, suggesting that Scarborough should be investigated.

Also on Wednesday, longtime radio host and "Prairie Home Companion" creator Garrison Keillor was fired by Minnesota Public Radio over an improper conduct complaint. 

Lauer's termination comes a week after CBS fired morning host Charlie Rose and the New York Times suspended White House correspondent Glenn Thrush over sexual misconduct complaints. It also comes as longtime Rep. John Conyers, D-MI, is reportedly being urged to resign amid sexual misconduct allegations by former staffers.

This year, several news media figures have been let go over sexual misconduct claims, including Lauer's NBC News colleague Mark Halperin, former Fox News prime-time host Bill O'Reilly and National Public Radio newsroom chief Michael Oreskes. 

When Lauer coanchored "Today" with Katie Couric, the show was a morning ratings winner. It now is second behind ABC's "Good Morning America."

Many "Today" viewers blamed Lauer for the firing of Ann Curry in 2013.

During his time at NBC News, Lauer interviewed such figures as President George W. Bush, President Barack Obama, Princes William and Harry and Tom Cruise.

Lauer faced criticism last year for his handling of a forum between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, with some accusing him of "unfairness, sloppiness and even sexism," the New York Times reported. He was said to have treated Clinton more harshly than Trump.

Before joining NBC, Lauer worked as a host and anchor at a variety of news stations. He graduated from Ohio University.

Lauer and his wife, former model Annette Roque Lauer, have three children.

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