This Nov. 16, 2017 photo released by NBC shows Matt Lauer during a broadcast of the 'Today,' show in New York. NBC News fired the longtime host for 'inappropriate sexual behavior.' Lauer's co-host Savannah Guthrie made the announcement at the top of Wednesday's 'Today' show. ( Zach Pagano/NBC via AP)
Rumors have been swirling that Lauer’s lawyers would likely fight for him to get a large payout. It was predicted that the payout could be around $30 million, considering the fact that he made about $20 million a year to host “Today” and that his contract had been extended through the first half of 2019. According to the source, however, the network will not agree to a payout, as television news contracts typically include a morals clause.
It’s also unlikely that Lauer himself will lobby too hard for the payout, according to two people close to him, given that he has likely already been paid well over $100 million during his time at NBC. He reportedly accepted the network’s decision to terminate his contract and expressed remorse during his firing late Tuesday.
The bombshell news was announced by Lauer’s co-host, Savannah Guthrie, with the help of Hoda Kotb during an emotional episode of “Today” on Wednesday morning.
The following day, Lauer addressed the controversy in a statement:
"There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and 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. Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed. I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly. Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching, and I’m committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full time job. The last two days have forced me to take a very hard look at my own troubling flaws. It’s been humbling. I am blessed to be surrounded by the people I love. I thank them for their patience and grace."