NBC Fires Matt Lauer After Sexual Misconduct Allegation

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NBC officials announced the firing of news anchor Matt Lauer on Nov. 29 after receiving an allegation of sexual misconduct against him.

Lauer has worked on the channel's "Today" news program since 1997, according to Daily Mail.

"On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer," stated NBC News President Andrew Lack, according to The New York Times.

Lack said that Lauer became involved with the woman when they were in Russia for the Winter Olympics in 2014. Their relationship reportedly continued when they returned to New York.

Lack also said the broadcaster believes that Lauer's alleged behavior may not have been an isolated incident.

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Katie Couric, a former co-host with Lauer from 1997 to 2006, referred to Lauer's behavior in a 2012 interview.

"He pinches me on the a*s a lot," she said, according to Daily Mail.

In a 2013 article, The New York Times magazine reported that Ann Curry, a former "Today" co-host, blamed Lauer and a "boys' club atmosphere" for undermining her on the set. Curry left the show in 2013.

Savannah Guthrie, Lauer's co-host on "Today," announced Lauer's sudden departure at the top of the Nov. 29 program. She described him as "a dear, dear friend," and added that she was "heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story."

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"We just learned this moments ago, just this morning," Guthrie added, according to The Atlantic. "As I'm sure you can imagine, we are devastated and we are still processing all of this."

Al Roker was also surprised.

"Dealing with the news of our friend of 30 years, and we're all trying to process it," stated Roker. "We’ll deal with it along with you folks, as well."

Lauer has yet to make a statement on the matter. In 2016, he signed a new contract with the news organization that was reportedly worth $20 million per year.

A replacement for Lauer has not been announced by NBC. Elizabeth Wagmeister, a reporter for Variety, suggested on Twitter that a story based on allegations against Lauer had been in the works for months, and that NBC was aware of it, according to The Atlantic.

Lauer's firing follows the Nov. 21 dismissal by CBS of Charlie Rose, who was also accused of sexual misconduct.

The firing of Garrison Keillor from Minnesota Public Radio was also revealed Nov. 29. A colleague from his "A Prairie Home Companion" show reportedly accused him of misconduct, the BBC reported.

Sources: The New York Times, Daily Mail, The Atlantic, BBC / Featured Image: U.S. Department of State/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Max Goldberg/Flickr via Wikimedia Commons, Erin Robicheaux/Dvidshub via Wikimedia Commons

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