NEW YORK CITY -- A bombshell hit morning news as Matt Lauer has been fired by NBC.
Wednesday's edition of the Today show began with Savannah Guthrie declaring, "This is a sad morning at Today and NBC News."
Guthrie then read the following statement issued by NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack:
Dear Colleagues, on Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment. While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over 20 years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident. Our highest priority is to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected, and to ensure that any actions that run counter to our core values are met with consequences, no matter who the offender. We are deeply saddened by this turn of events, but we will face it together as a news organization -- and do it in as transparent a manner as we can.
Guthrie said she had just learned the news of Lauer's termination shortly before going on the air.
“As I’m sure you can imagine, we are devastated," she said with Hoda Kotb next to her in Lauer's former seat. "We are still processing all of this.”
Guthrie pledged the story of Lauer's departure would be covered openly.
“We will be covering this story as reporters, as journalists. I’m sure we will be learning more details in the hours and days to come. We promise we will share that with you.”
The shock of Lauer's firing could be heard in Guthrie's shaky voice.
“I’m heartbroken for Matt. He is my dear, dear friend and my partner. He is beloved by many, many people here. I’m heartbroken for the brave colleague who 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 past few weeks: How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly? I don’t know the answer to that.”
WATCH how Lauer's termination was announced on Today: