'Today' Host Matt Lauer Fired by NBC After 'Inappropriate Sexual Behavior' Allegation

Matt Lauer has been fired by NBC News amid allegations of "inappropriate sexual behavior."

NBC News chairman Andrew Lack told colleagues in a memo that the Today show host was fired after a complaint from a colleague.

"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," wrote Lack. "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.

"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. To that end, Noah and I will be meeting with as many of you as possible throughout the day today to answer your questions."

Matt Lauer has been terminated from NBC News. On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment. pic.twitter.com/1A3UAZpvPb

— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 29, 2017

Today's Savannah Guthrie addressed the news on Wednesday's episode of the NBC morning program, which Lauer has anchored since 1994.

"We just learned this moments ago, just this morning," Guthrie said. "We are devastated. We are still processing all of this. We do not know more than I just shared with you. I am sure we will be learning more details in the hours and days to come."

Turning to co-host Hoda Kotb, Guthrie said: "We are heartbroken. I'm heartbroken for Matt, he's my dear, dear friend and my partner. He's beloved by many, many people here. And I'm heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story.

"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. But I do know that this reckoning is long overdue and it must result in workplaces where all women, all people, feel safe and respected," Guthrie said.

Kotb added: "This is a tough morning for both of us. I've known Matt for 15 years. I've loved him as a friend and colleague. It's hard to reconcile what we are hearing with the man who we know. We're trying to process it and make sense of it. It'll take some time for that."

Matt Lauer fired
Matt Lauer attends The Rolling Stones celebrate the North American debut of Exhibitionism at Industria in the West Village in New York, November 15, 2016. Jason Kempin/Getty

Guthrie promised that Today and NBC News would be "transparent" with viewers and continue to cover Lauer's firing.

The 59-year-old is one of the highest-paid morning news anchors in the U.S. In November 2016, he inked a new deal with NBC worth a reported $20 million a year.

On Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump reacted to the news with an attack on NBC, his former employer when he hosted The Apprentice, for spreading "fake news."

He tweeted:

Wow, Matt Lauer was just fired from NBC for “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.” But when will the top executives at NBC & Comcast be fired for putting out so much Fake News. Check out Andy Lack’s past!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2017