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— Is The To­day Show’s Matt Lauer the big­gest name yet caught up in sex­ual mis­con­duct al­le­ga­tions? —

NEW YORK — To­day show host Matt Lauer was fired for what NBC on Wed­nes­day called “in­ap­pro­pri­ate sex­ual be­hav­iour” with a col­league and was promptly con­fronted with a pub­lished re­port ac­cus­ing him of crude and ha­bit­ual mis­con­duct with other women around the of­fice.

With his easy­go­ing charm, Lauer has long been a lu­cra­tive and highly vis­i­ble part of NBC News and one of the high­est­paid fig­ures in the in­dus­try. His down­fall shook the net­work and stunned many of the roughly four mil­lion view­ers who start their day with him.

He is eas­ily one of the big­gest names brought down in re­cent weeks by the wave of sex­ual mis­con­duct al­le­ga­tions that have swept through Hol­ly­wood, the me­dia and pol­i­tics.

Net­work news chief An­drew Lack said in a memo to the staff that NBC re­ceived a com­plaint about Lauer’s be­hav­iour on Mon­day and de­ter­mined he vi­o­lated com­pany stan­dards. NBC said the mis­con­duct started when Lauer and a net­work em­ployee were at the Sochi Olympics in 2014 and con­tin­ued be­yond that as­sign­ment.

Lack said it was the first com­plaint lodged against Lauer in his 20 years at NBC, but “we were also pre­sented with rea­son to be­lieve this may not have been an iso­lated in­ci­dent.”

It was left to Lauer’s shaken To­day col­leagues Sa­van­nah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb to break the news to view­ers at the top of Wed­nes­day morn­ing's show.

Hours af­ter the fir­ing, the trade pub­li­ca­tion Va­ri­ety posted what it said was a two-month in­ves­ti­ga­tion that in­cluded dozens of in­ter­views with cur­rent and for­mer staffers who asked to re­main anony­mous.

Among other things, Va­ri­ety re­ported al­le­ga­tions that Lauer once gave a col­league a sex toy with an ex­plicit note about how he wanted to use it on her; that he ex­posed him­self to another fe­male co­worker; that he would ques­tion fe­male pro­duc­ers about their sex lives; and that he would talk about which co-hosts he would like to sleep with.

Mes­sages to Lauer and his agent were not im­me­di­ately re­turned, and NBC would not say whether he de­nied or ad­mit­ted to any wrong­do­ing. He is mar­ried with three chil­dren.

Lauer be­comes the sec­ond morn­ing host in a week to lose his job over sex­ual mis­con­duct al­le­ga­tions. CBS fired Char­lie Rose af­ter sev­eral women who worked for him com­plained about his be­hav­iour.

Mean­while, for­mer Prairie Home Com­pan­ion host Gar­ri­son Keil­lor was cut loose by Min­nesota Pub­lic Ra­dio over an al­le­ga­tion of “in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour.” MPR gave no de­tails, but the 75-year-old Keil­lor said he in­ad­ver­tently put his hand on a woman's bare back in an at­tempt to con­sole her.

Lauer, 59, has es­sen­tially been the king of tele­vi­sion morn­ing news since be­ing paired with Katie Couric on To­day in 1997.

He joins a length­en­ing list of me­dia fig­ures felled by sex­ual mis­con­duct ac­cu­sa­tions this year. They in­clude Lauer’s NBC News col­league Mark Halperin,

The As­so­ci­ated Press

NBC has fired Matt Lauer for “in­ap­pro­pri­ate sex­ual be­hav­iour.”

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