Matt Lauer's sudden termination from Today came as a shock to viewers, but reports suggest that it may not have been such a shock to those close to the long-running morning anchor.
Multiple outlets have been conducting months-long investigations into allegations made against Lauer, CNN reports, and it's suggested that the 59-year-old's colleagues may have been aware of the ongoing investigations.
Variety's Elizabeth Wagmeister said on Twitter that she and Ramin Setoodeh have been investigating Lauer for months, writing "At @Variety, @RaminSetoodeh & I had been working on a Matt Lauer story for months and NBC was aware. There are multiple women we've spoken to with far-ranging accusations against Lauer. The power of journalism has never been more evident with this cultural change."
At @Variety, @RaminSetoodeh & I had been working on a Matt Lauer story for months and NBC was aware. There are multiple women we've spoken to with far-ranging accusations against Lauer. The power of journalism has never been more evident with this cultural change.— Elizabeth Wagmeister (@EWagmeister) November 29, 2017
Setoodah also tweeted that NBC was aware of their investigative story.
NBC was aware that Variety was working on a bombshell story about sexual harassment allegations against Matt Lauer.— Ramin Setoodeh (@RaminSetoodeh) November 29, 2017
CNN reports the New York Times was also developing a story on Lauer.
It is not known if the morning news anchor's termination is a result of the suggested investigations or whether NBC acted independently from outside influence when making the decision.
The announcement of Lauer's termination was made during the Wednesday morning broadcast, co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Tobt reading a statement that NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack sent employees.
"This is a sad morning at Today and NBC News," Guthrie said during this morning's broadcast. "As I'm sure you can understand, we are devastated. I'm heartbroken for Matt."