Millions of “Today” show viewers awoke Wednesday morning to news that longtime anchor Matt Lauer had been fired by NBC.
Co-host Savannah Guthrie began the “Today” show broadcast seated at the anchor desk alongside Hoda Kotb. She read a statement from NBC News Chairman Andy Lack before expressing her sadness over Lauer’s firing.
“We just learned this moments ago, just this morning. As I’m sure you can imagine we are devastated and we are still processing all of this. And I will tell you right now we do not know more than what I just shared with you, but we will be covering this story as reporters, as journalists.
“I’m sure we’ll be learning more details in the hours and days to come and we promise we will share that with you. And Hoda, for the moment all we can say is that we are heartbroken. I’m heartbroken for Matt. He is my dear, dear friend and my partner and he is beloved by many, many people here. And I’m heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story and any other women who have their own stories to tell.”
Guthrie called the recent rash of sexual harassment scandals in the news media and elsewhere an “important” and “overdue” reckoning.
“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? And I don’t know the answer to that.”