“Savannah [Guthrie] is devastated,” the insider tells Us. “She and Matt were really close.”
NBC News chairman Andrew Lack fired the veteran journalist late Tuesday, November 28, after one of the 59-year-old’s female colleagues claimed he engaged in “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.” Variety and The New York Times later published reports detailing additional accusations of misconduct.
The news came as a surprise to many of Lauer’s coworkers. “They knew Matt was flirty and playful and may have had relationships over the years, but what they knew of those relationships was that they were consensual and they weren’t aware they went beyond that,” the source tells Us.
When staffers were informed of the news anchor’s termination, the mood at Studio 1A in New York City became solemn. “Execs treated it as if Matt had died. It was very somber,” a second source tells Us. “The usual editorial meetings that have about 30 or so people were now 200 people because execs were addressing the situation with everyone. They were transparent and opened the floor to questions.”
Lauer addressed the allegations in a statement to Us on Thursday, November 30. “There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions. To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry,” he said, adding that “some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed.”