Home Media Shock: Matt Lauer’s “Today Show” Contract Terminated for “Inappropriate Workplace Behavior”–...

UPDATE Page Six reports that Lauer allegedly assaulted a female employee at the Rio Olympics…

EARLIER Matt Lauer, star of NBC’s Today Show for years, has been fired by the network for “inappropriate workplace behavior.” NBC News president Andy Lack says it’s because of a complaint from a colleague. But this is a real shock. Lauer has often been the subject of tabloid stories claiming his marriage was in trouble because of infidelity but the anchorman has been able to soldier on. Savananah Guthrie read a statement on the air this morning saying “this may not have been an isolated incident.”

For weeks people in media circles have been whispering that “Matt Lauer is next.” Now we know what they meant. A source close to Lauer and to NBC says the network has known about this “for weeks.”

Lauer — who makes $28 million a year — has been the anchor of the Today for over 20 years, since July 1997. He now joins a long list of men whose careers have suddenly been up ended by charges of sexual harassment (or worse) starting with Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, Charlie Rose, Kevin Spacey, Senator Al Franken, and so on.

In the media, Rose was the worst case scenario, a long career wiped out seemingly overnight. But now Lauer’s story tops them all. Guthrie said this morning “This is a sad morning at ‘Today’ and NBC News. As I’m sure you can understand, we are devastated. I’m heartbroken for Matt. He is my dear, dear colleague.”

As much as Guthrie and Lauer’s other colleagues will say this is a surprise, it is not. Matt Lauer is a lovely guy, believe me. But his behavior over the years is legendary, an open secret in media circles. He and wife Annette Roque basically live apart– he’s in New York, she’s in the Hamptons where she lives with their kids. They are rarely seen together.

Even as recently as a couple of weeks ago at Elton John’s 25th anniversary foundation gala, Lauer– in a tuxedo– was there by himself. There was no sign of his wife at a head table where everyone else was accompanied by their spouse or partner. Roque was nowhere in sight.

 

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