The 59-year-old has been the foundation of the morning show for two decades, but his termination over allegations of sexual assault is proving to be profitable. So far, shares of NBC’s parent company Comcast have jumped 4 percent since Today co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb made the announcement on air. Shares are now sitting at $38, The Wrap reports.
NBC’s long-running Today is one of America’s most profitable and popular franchises, and NBC has consistently won the key 25-54 demo for its morning shows. Lauer joined NBC in 1992 and went on to become a full-time news anchor on Today in 1994. In 1997, he took the helm.
It was announced this morning that a staffer had come forward to accuse Lauer of sexually assaulting her in 2014. Various news outlets have been investigating other allegations, and NBC wrote in a statement that they don’t believe this to be an isolated incident.
“On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer,” a memo sent to NBC employees 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.”
The alleged victim’s lawyer claimed that he and his client met with NBC’s human resources department Monday night and that the evidence they presented was so compelling that Lauer was fired the following day.
Lauer has not yet commented on the accusations.