Matt Lauer’s termination on the Today show has shocked everybody this week. However, it has been reported that almost everybody who knew Lauer were already anticipating for the scandal to break. Unfortunately, nobody had the guts to act on it.
According to Vanity Fair‘s HIVE, it was NBC Chairman Andy Lack who personally went to Lauer’s house to fire him.
As claims against Hollywood and media personalities rose in number, NBC reportedly took the time to speak to their top guys, particularly Lauer, and ask if there should be anything they should prepare for. Lauer denied everything, reported Vanity Fair.
The network had to wait for a woman who had already sent her story to the New York Times to approach their legal team about the matter. There was no “rape” or “assault” issued in the complaint, but it was grave enough for the network to decide to cut ties.
Lauer also had a pattern for his targets, according to Vanity Fair. Lauer was described as a man who lived a lonely life. Since there were rumors circling around about his infidelity, the National Enquirer tracked him down. The publication ran multiple stories on Lauer’s affairs, but they were not too big to make an impact. They knew that he was solitary and he did not really go out that much. That allegedly left his options limited to his working space.
“There were, according to the former colleague, two groups of women that Lauer seemed to focus his attention on: interns, pages, and production assistants in charge of running scripts in the morning; and also bookers.”
Over his 20-year career at the network, his hidden activities did not affect his influence on the company. Apparently, Lauer’s three shows were bringing in about a billion dollars in revenue. Basically, a few office rumors could not bring a billion-dollar man down.
Lauer was reportedly that powerful that CBS News and ABC News would lose money if not for his morning shows.
Throwback to 2012 when Matt Lauer was the “real victim” of sexual harassment on the Today show ???? pic.twitter.com/mYdnhEV2wv
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) November 29, 2017
Still, even with the monetary value of Lauer for the company, a high-level industry source said there really was nothing to be surprised about.
“This has been going on for months and months and everybody knew it and it was just going to be which girl came forward, and who reported it first.”
With the absence of Lauer from Today, the network is on the lookout for the one who would replace him and his contributions to the company.