Less than 48 hours ago, Matt Lauerwas king of the morning TV world.
NBC's Today dominated the ratings for the better part of his 20-year run as co-anchor, first with Katie Couric, then Meredith Vieira, Ann Curry, and most recently with Savannah Guthrie. Lauer's reported salary had grown to a reported $20 million a year, affording him a cushy lifestyle and an impressive real estate portfolio that includes a ranch in New Zealand and a $36.5 million estate in the Hamptons.
NBC fired Lauer on Tuesday night after receiving a complaint of sexual misconduct against the veteran host and newsman from a female colleague, according to a statement the network released first thing Wednesday morning. His ouster was duly reported on at the beginning of Wednesday's Today by Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, both of whom said they were still processing the disturbing news about their longtime friend and colleague but applauded the bravery of the woman who had come forward.