With an annual salary of $25 million, Matt Lauer exits Today as the highest paid morning show personality.
Lauer, who was fired by NBC News Wednesday after a complaint was filed against him for “inappropriate sexual behavior at the workplace,” takes home the highest pay of any current show anchor, the Daily Mail reports.
The 59-year-old, who is the longest-running morning show anchor, started at NBC in 1992 as a newsreader on Today. He joined the show as a full-time news anchor in 1994 before going on to take the helm in 1997.
During Wednesday’s broadcast, morning show co-anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb tearfully announced Lauer’s termination, reading a statement that NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack had sent to employees, which alleges that a staffer came forward to tell the network that Lauer had sexually assaulted her during the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014, Page 6 reported.
“On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer,” the letter read. “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.”
Guthrie went on to say that “As painful as it is this moment in our culture, and this change, had to happen.”