The Today show’s Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb appeared to turn to each other for support after news broke that their colleague Matt Lauer was terminated from NBC over allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior.
During commercial breaks of Wednesday’s show, Guthrie and Kotb could be seen through the set’s iconic windows consoling each other and regaining their composure during the much-needed pauses in the broadcast.
“We just learned this, moments ago, just this morning,” said Guthrie, her voice shaking as she made the announcement that Lauer was let go. “As I’m sure you can imagine, we are devastated and we are still processing all of this. And I will tell you right now, we do not know more than what I just shared with you. But we will be covering this 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.”
At one point, Guthrie and Kotb were seen hugging.
Lauer’s firing came as both The New York Times and Variety confirmed they have been working on exposes detailing claims of misconduct against the disgraced newsman.
“The woman met with reporters from The Times earlier Monday, but said she was not ready to discuss it publicly,” the newspaper reported.
Rumors about Lauer’s personal life have dogged him for years.
His wife, former model former model Annette Roque, filed for divorce in 2006, calling him “extremely controlling, cruel and inhuman.” She later withdrew the divorce papers and they have remained married.
The couple and their three children split their time between Manhattan and a sprawling horse farm in the Hamptons.
At the Today show, fans of the broadcast struggled to come to terms with the news.
"I'm totally shocked," Marilyn Cale of Miami told APTN. "He's one of my favorite news anchors, and I hope it's not true."
“I mean he's a huge icon for NBC and the Today show, so I think it's going to be a major, major change for them alone and a lot of people look to him and you know feel like they know him personally, so I can only imagine what they're feeling,” New York native Christina Mazzarella said.
President Donald Trump spoke out about Lauer’s firing, taking to social media to issue a blistering tweet.
“Wow, Matt Lauer was just fired from NBC for ‘inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace,’” wrote Trump, who has faced his own allegations of sexual misconduct, which he has denied.
“But when will the top executives at NBC & Comcast be fired for putting out so much Fake News,” Trump continued.
Others at NBC also shared their perspectives on the news.
Megyn Kelly at first praised Lauer for his support in her transition to NBC News, but ultimately condemned his alleged misconduct.
“As painful as this moment is for so many here at NBC today, at CBS earlier this month, at Fox News over the last year, in Hollywood this fall, it is a sign of progress, of women finding their voices, their courage, and of the erosion of a shameful power imbalance that has been in place for far too long,” she said.