Matt Lauer terminated from NBC for 'inappropriate sexual behavio - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Matt Lauer terminated from NBC for 'inappropriate sexual behavior'

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A staple in morning news has been fired amid allegations of "inappropriate sexual behavior."

Early Wednesday morning, NBC News' Today Show anchor Savannah Guthrie began the popular morning broadcast with an announcement that Matt Lauer, NBC new host for 20 years. 

While announcing the termination, Gurthie read a statement from NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack. 

A portion of that statement read that allegations were brought to NBC officials Monday night. The statement does not reveal the nature of the allegations, but says that there was a complaint made by a "colleague" and a review found that it was "a clear violation of company standards." 

No other complaints have come forward regarding Lauer's behavior, however, in Lack's memo, NBC employees were told: "we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident."

Lack's memo also said "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." 

A video of the announcement on the Today Show can be viewed here. 

NBC, who has promised to cover the story with transparency and fairly was quick to take to Twitter to make an official announcement as well. 
 

NBC, who has promised to cover the story with transparency and fairly was quick to take to Twitter to make an official announcement as well. 

A visibly emotional Guthrie said that she, and many others, are trying to reconcile the thought that a dear friend had done something wrong. However, she expressed her sympathies and well-wishes for the colleague who had come forward against Lauer- as well as women who have been sharing their stories of harassment at the hands of some of the industries biggest names. 

Lauer is only the most recent media figurehead to face allegations of sexual misconduct. 

Just last week, CBS's Charlie Rose was fired after allegations from several female employees. 

According to NBC, Lauer has not immediately responded publicly to the announcement of his firing.

However, reactions have begun to pour in from officials, viewers, and the social media sphere in general. 

Following the announcement President Donald Trump even reacted to the news in a tweet:

Locally, Media Analyst Adam Earnheardt weighed in early Wednesday morning. 

Earnheardt said that the entire culture of sexual harassment in the workplace is coming under a microscope. 

"Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, Bill O'Reilly, and the entire Me Too phenomenon, I think what it's doing is it is forcing this industry in particular, and other industries too, to take a real hard look at what they're doing, and what kind of policies they have in place to address these issues," said Earnheardt. 

Earnheardt, who is also the Chair of the Youngstown State University Communications Department, said that the news is particularly rattling to educators. 

"A lot of media educators are angry about this," he said. "We're angry about things that are being revealed at NBC, CBS, and other places. Because, quite frankly, we're sending our interns into these environments. We're sending students on co-ops. We're sending new graduates into these places, and you know, we're assuming these are safe work environments." 

Earnheardt continued, "And of course they're very high profile, but when they're being revealed it kind of takes us back. Like should we being doing something differently to prepare students for these environments?" 

"It's giving us, as educators, as parents, as fathers, and mothers to have real, frank conversations with people about what this all means and how to address these issues and how to feel safe in these work environments. And I think that's the real take away here," explained Earnheardt. 

For many, one of the biggest questions is in the coming weeks. Many on social media have already begun to question NBC's ability to cover the scandal fairly. 

Earnheardt explained that in order to keep credibility, they're going to have to. 

"If news organizations aren't covering themselves whenever it's a breaking story, then it's going to look seedy," he offered. "I think there's a real opportunity here for places like NBC to kind of step up and say 'ok, yes, we take ownership of this and so much so that we're going to put this front and center on our newscast'. I think that's the most important thing."

According to NBC,  Lauer began filling in on "Today" and was promoted as a news anchor two years later before taking over for Bryant Gumbel in 1997.

Variety reported last year that his contract with NBC was extended through 2018 for $20 million a year. 

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