Noah Oppenheim, the news division's president, met with NBC Nightly News staff members at their daily meeting to tell them about recent conversations that took place between Lauer and executives.
NBC's top news executives asked Today co-host Matt Lauer about reports that he had sexually harassed colleagues, but Lauer repeatedly denied them in the two weeks before he was sacked, according to people at the network.
Though Lauer's contract called for him to be paid tens of millions of dollars, the network doesn't expect to pay it now that he's been fired, a senior NBC source told the outlet.
The $30 million figure was predicated on the fact that Lauer was paid about $20 million a year to co-host the "Today" show - an extraordinary sum of money that reflects how profitable the morning show is.More news: Woman Arrested After Testing Toxic Substance on Senior Home Residents
Television news contracts typically include a morals clause, giving a network some flexibility to fire a high-priced anchor for cause.
Subsequent reports in Variety and the New York Times cited multiple sources who claimed that Lauer has engaged in a pattern of sexually predatory behavior over the years, including allegedly exposing himself to a female employee and having sex with another in his office who felt helpless to acquiesce. Their headline read "Lauer's lawyers trying to get him $30M payout after firing".
Lack sent an email to everyone in the company yesterday. Given reports about his yearly salary over the past decade, he has likely already been paid well in excess of $100 million during his time at NBC.
NBC staff members received a memo on Friday afternoon from Mr. Lack who addressed, "the circumstances around Matt Lauer's appalling behavior, why this was able to happen, and why it wasn't reported sooner". He also directed employees to take any complaints to their managers, newsroom leaders, human resources officers or two available hotlines, the NBCUniversal Integrity Helpline and the Comcast Listens Helpline. The first harassment complaint, made on Monday night, triggered an internal investigation and Tuesday night's firing decision. Since then other stories with similar details have come in.