When Today co-host Savannah Guthrie announced Matt Lauer’s swift termination from NBC in November, she promised viewers the network would cover the story “as reporters, as journalists.”
“I’m sure we will be learning more details in the hours and days to come. And we promise we will share that with you,” Guthrie told viewers after she revealed Lauer had been fired following allegations of “sexually inappropriate behavior.”
But how has NBC News and Today reported developments in the downfall of its own veteran news broadcaster? Take a look at this timeline of the network’s coverage of the scandal.
November 29: Guthrie announced at the top of Today’s broadcast that Lauer had been terminated from NBC News. She and Hoda Kotb read a statement from NBC New Chairman Andy Lack in which he claimed Lauer showed a “clear violation of our company’s standards,” as well as “reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”
Matt Lauer has been terminated from NBC News. On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment. pic.twitter.com/1A3UAZpvPb— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 29, 2017
Following the announcement, Guthrie and Kotb gave their candid reactions to their colleague’s termination.
“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 has been loved by many, many people here," Guthrie said. "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."
On Megyn Kelly Today following the announcement, Kelly said “this one hits close to home” but acknowledged “a sea of change” is coming.
During Kathie Lee and Hoda, Kathie Lee Gifford offered up her support for Lauer and his family, regardless of the allegations being made against him. “We’ve all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, is what scripture says. And what we need now is forgiveness, and we need mercy for one another.” She also compared his firing to finding out her late husband had an affair.
November 30: Lauer issued a statement of apology on the Today broadcast during which he expressed “sorrow and regret” for his actions. “To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry. As I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC,” he wrote in part. He also admitted “there’s enough truth in these stories” of inappropriate behavior spanning nearly two decades.
During the broadcast, NBC anchors attempted damage control to clear up rumors surrounding Lauer’s termination and allegedly lewd behavior.
NBC confirmed rumors that the alleged sexual misconduct toward a fellow NBC News employee began at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and continued after the trip. They denied, however, that “current NBC management” was ever made aware of any other complaints prior to the current accusations, despite several women’s accounts they told network executives of Lauer’s bad behavior.
WATCH: Two additional women came forward to NBC after the news of Matt Lauer’s firing broke pic.twitter.com/qdsfpI7wmO— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 30, 2017
The network tapped correspondent Stephanie Gosk to cover developments on Lauer’s scandal. During her first report, she said several women had come forward with sexual harassment allegations following his firing.
By Megyn Kelly’s 9 a.m. hour, Gosk reported that “as many as eight” women had come forward.
December 1: NBC News Chairman Andy Lack continued to soothe the network’s employee’s fears, ensuring HR leaders would conduct a “thorough and timely review of what happened.” He also praised that when an employee comes forward to report inappropriate behavior, “the system works.”
December 2: Behind the scenes, an NBC insider said management worked quickly to get rid of anything that might remind the world of Lauer. His nameplate has been ripped off, his face removed from every website and his infamous office would be “demolished.”
December 6: Guthrie sat down with Alyssa Milano and #MeToo movement creator Tarana Burke to discuss their title of Time’s “Person of the Year.” During the chat, she couldn’t help bring up her former cohost.
"So much has changed," Guthrie said. "It has touched every industry, obviously, has hit very close to home here with the firing of Matt Lauer."
December 15: NBC News correspondent Gosk interviewed Ari Wilkenfeld, the lawyer of Lauer’s anonymous accuser who claimed his client is “terrified” of being identified.
“My client is terrified, and she does live in constant fear that people are going to track her down and figure out who she is.” -Attorney for Lauer accuser pic.twitter.com/sczks2TMlD— TODAY (@TODAYshow) December 15, 2017
Wilkenfeld also claimed that his client’s only request to NBC executives was that they “do the right thing” and “maintain her confidentiality.” According to him, the network failed to deliver on their promise of the latter.
“I can say that NBC has a duty to maintain confidentiality, that means to maintain secrecy over her name and to hold to themselves the details of her story,” he said. “And they have not done a good job of doing that. They know exactly what they’ve done and they need to stop.”0comments
Though Today aired Wilkenfeld’s negative reaction to its network, NBC News released a statement refuting his claims. "The network has protected the employee’s anonymity all along and will continue to do so,” a spokesperson replied.
Since Lauer’s firing, Today ratings have continued to surge. For two consecutive weeks, the NBC program has beat rival Good Morning America, a feat many attribute to the scandal and its muddy aftermath.