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NBC News Chief Calls Ex-Anchor Matt Lauer’s Conduct ‘Reprehensible’

NBC News chairman Andy Lack sent a memo to staff Wednesday following newly revealed details

NBC News and MSNBC chairman Andy Lack sent a memo to staff Wednesday following the publication of details about the rape accusation made by former NBC News employee Brooke Nevils that got Matt Lauer fired in 2017.

In the memo, reviewed by TheWrap, Lack said, “First, and most importantly, in reading today’s news our hearts go out to our former colleague.”

He continued, addressing the details from Ronan Farrow’s forthcoming book, “Catch and Kill”:

“Matt Lauer’s conduct in 2014 was appalling and reprehensible — and of course we said so at the time. The first moment we learned of it was the night of November 27, 2017, and he was fired in 24 hours. Any suggestion that we knew prior to that evening or tried to cover up any aspect of Lauer’s conduct is absolutely false and offensive.”

Later in the memo, Lack rejected Farrow’s claims that he and other execs tried to cover up Harvey Weinstein’s misconduct:

“Here are the essential and indisputable facts: NBC News assigned the Harvey Weinstein story to Ronan, we completely supported it over many months with resources — both financial and editorial,” Lack added. “After seven months, without one victim or witness on the record, he simply didn’t have a story that met our standard for broadcast nor that of any major news organization. Not willing to accept that standard and not wanting to get beaten by the New York Times, he asked to take his story to an outlet he claimed was ready to publish right away. Reluctantly, we allowed him to go ahead. Fifty-three days later, and five days after the New York Times did indeed break the story, he published an article at the New Yorker that bore little resemblance to the reporting he had while at NBC News.”

On Wednesday’s broadcast of “Today,” Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb also offered their support for former colleague Nevils. Later, Lauer made public a letter that stated his defense, which is, he says, that the affair was “completely consensual.”