NBC is standing firm against giving fired Today host Matt Lauer a payout on the multimillion-dollar salary he’s leaving behind, according to a person at the network.
Lauer, said to have earned somewhere between $20 million and $25 million US a year, reportedly is negotiating to receive the remainder of his salary for the current contract that runs through 2018 and made him one of TV’s highest-paid journalists.
But NBC won’t agree, said the person, who spoke Friday on condition of anonymity because a personnel matter was involved. The Washington Post also reported that the ousted host wouldn’t be paid past his final day of work, citing an unnamed NBC source.
Some NBC News employees who raised the question of Lauer’s compensation at a staff meeting were told that he was fired “for cause” and wouldn’t be paid beyond his last day worked, according to a Variety report Friday.
A representative for Lauer didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Also Friday, NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack said an internal review into Lauer’s alleged sexual misconduct is underway, including how it happened and why it wasn’t stopped earlier.
In a company-wide memo released publicly, Lack said those are among the questions NBC employees are asking in the wake of the Today host’s firing for what Lack labeled “appalling behaviour.”
A team of NBC Universal legal and human resources leaders have started a “thorough and timely review” of what occurred and how the company can foster greater transparency and mutual respect, Lack said in the memo.
“At the conclusion of the review we will share what we’ve learned, no matter how painful, and act on it,” he said.
His memo didn’t address if the report will be made public. NBC News publicists didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Reiterating comments from a memo he sent Wednesday, Lack said the top priority is to create a safe workplace environment and that unacceptable actions are “met with consequences, no matter who the offender.”
NBC’s announcement Tuesday that Lauer was being fired for “inappropriate sexual behavior” meant that the network was cutting loose the popular, long-established star of its highly lucrative morning show.
How much Lauer’s status may have protected him from allegations is among the questions raised by observers. NBC has said current executives didn’t receive any complaints before the one Monday that triggered Lauer’s immediate dismissal the…