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Matt Lauer attends the Matrix Awards, hosted by New York Women in Communications, at the Sheraton Times Square on Monday, April 24, 2017, in New York. Photo: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

NBC "Today" star Matt Lauer, the highest paid personality in TV news, was fired following "a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace," NBC News Chairman Andy Lack said this morning in an email to NBC News staff.

Between the lines: Several news outlets had reportedly been investigating Lauer for weeks, including the New York Times and Variety. Variety's New York Bureau Chief, Ramin Setoodeh, said they discovered multiple victims, and that NBC was aware of Variety's story.

The big picture: Lauer is the latest in a string of media men accused of sexual harassment in recent weeks.

The instant fallout:

  • Co-anchor Savannah Guthrie said at the top of "Today," reading Lack's statement and saying she had just learned the news: "This is a sad morning. … We are devastated. … We are still processing this."
  • Choking up, Guthrie said that as painful as the process is, this reckoning in workplaces is "long overdue... We promise to be transparent," she told viewers, promising to continue covering the story.
  • Trump tweeted within 20 minutes of the story breaking: "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!"

Here is the full text from Andy Lack's email to staff:

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 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.
Andy

Editor's Note: NBC is an investor in Axios and Andy Lack is on the Axios board.

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Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court rejects Trump's attempt to shield documents from Jan. 6 committee

Photo: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

The Supreme Court rejected on Wednesday night a bid by former President Trump to block the release of documents and records from his administration to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.

Why it matters: Trump asked the Supreme Court to step in and block the release of the documents last month after a panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit unanimously denied his attempt to prevent the committee from obtaining the materials.

Senate Republicans block voting rights bill

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell walks to the Senate floor on Jan. 18. Photo: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senate Republicans blocked Democrats' voting rights legislation from coming to a final vote on Wednesday in what was largely viewed as a doomed effort from the start.

Why it matters: The failed vote underscores the Democratic Party's current uphill battle to pass sweeping legislation in a 50-50 Senate.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Biden says Russia likely to invade Ukraine

President Biden addressed the brewing conflict between Russia and Ukraine during a press briefing Wednesday, saying of Russian President Vladimir Putin, "my guess is he will move in."

Why it matters: U.S. officials have issued a series of warnings about Russia's threatening military buildup on the border with Ukraine, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying in Kyiv earlier Wednesday that Russia could invade "on very short notice."