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NBC News fires Matt Lauer over 'inappropriate sexual behavior

NBC News fired "Today" show co-host Matt Lauer Wednesday over allegations of "inappropriate sexual behavior." (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

In an emotional statement on NBC's "Today" show Wednesday morning, co-hosts Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie announced that Matt Lauer was terminated from NBC News over allegations of "inappropriate sexual behavior."

Here's the announcement from 'Today':

Why was Lauer fired?

Guthrie read the statement from NBC News Chairman Andy Lack explaining why Lauer was fired. The allegations of "inappropriate sexual behavior" were left vague.

"Dear colleagues, on Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer," the statement began.

"It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company's standards," it continued. "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."

"Our highest priority is to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected, and to ensure that any actions that run counter to our core values are met with consequences, no matter who the offender," the statement read.

"We are deeply saddened by this turn of events but we will face it together as a news organization," it concluded, "and do it in as transparent a manner as we can."

"As I'm sure you can imagine, we are devastated," Guthrie added after the statement.

"For the moment all we can say is that we are heartbroken," she explained. "I'm heartbroken for Matt. He is my dear dear friend and my partner, and he is beloved by many many people here. And I am heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story, and any other women who have their own stories to tell."

CNN's Brian Stelter reported that Lauer was informed of the decision Tuesday night before he went to bed, and that New York Times reporters had been investigating him for sexual misconduct for weeks.

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