A “really terrible vibe” has reportedly swept over NBC News and “TODAY” in the wake of alleged sexual harasser Matt Lauer’s firing, according to a recent report in Us Weekly.
“Savannah [Guthrie] is devastated,” an insider told the magazine. “She and Matt were really close.”
On the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 29, NBC News chairman Andrew Lack sent an email to staffers saying Lauer had been fired following a complaint of “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.”
Lack continued, “We were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”
In the wake of the news, Lauer released a statement in which he addressed the allegations against him.
“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have cause others by words and actions,” Lauer said in the statement. “The last two days have forced me to take a hard look at my own flaws.”
Apparently, many of Lauer’s co-workers were surprised by the news. “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 told Us.
The mood in Studio 1A became solemn after Lauer was fired. “Execs treated it as if Matt had died. It was very somber,” a separate source told 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.”
Finding a replacement for Matt Lauer on “TODAY” could be harder than NBC execs thought if this latest behind-the-scenes rumor is true.
According to Page Six, Lauer’s rumored big ego on the set of “TODAY” may make it difficult to find a suitable replacement, as he allegedly sabotaged any other man who came on-set.
“Matt killed off, in their infancy, every man who could succeed him at the time that he was ready to hang it up. So there’s nobody to take his place. And now NBC is paying the price,” a source told the publication.
The gossip column reports that Lauer’s rumored behavior on set kept potential male replacements like Billy Bush (before the “Access Hollywood” scandal), Josh Elliott and David Gregory from ever getting to the top. It is rumored that “Weekend Today” anchor Craig Melvin may be the front-runner at this time.