NEW YORK — Longtime NBC News anchor Matt Lauer has been fired over inappropriate sexual behavior, the network confirmed.
The veteran “Today” host was let go after a colleague filed a complaint about Lauer on Monday night, which turned out to be “a clear violation of our company’s standards.”
“As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment,” NBC News chief Andrew Lack wrote in a staff memo.
“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.”
An emotional Savannah Guthrie, Lauer’s co-anchor since 2012, opened Wednesday’s “Today” with the news.
“I will tell you, right now we do not know more than what I just shared with you,” a choked-up Guthrie said, flanked by co-host Hoda Kotb.
Lauer was one of NBC New’s highest-paid talents, helmed “Today” alongside a handful of co-anchors since 1997 and scored the network’s biggest interviews.
His firing comes a week after veteran newsman Charlie Rose was fired from “CBS This Morning” and PBS after numerous women accused him of sexual misconduct over decades.
And he’s the second top-billed anchor axed by the network over inappropriate behavior.
NBC News and MSNBC parted ways with political analyst Mark Halperin was let go in October, after allegations he sexually harassed several women during his tenure as ABC News’ political director.