« 'Shark Tank' star Daymond John shares tips on how to budget for holiday gift giving | Main | Record-breaking Cyber Monday sales total $6.59 billion »

Guthrie, Kotb speak out about Lauer termination

Drew Angerer/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- “Today Show” co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb opened Wednesday morning’s show with their personal reflections on former colleague Matt Lauer, whom they called a friend, after reporting that the network had fired him for alleged “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.”

Guthrie explained why Kotb sat at Lauer's usual spot next to her, calling it "a sad day here at NBC News."

Here are their statements from Wednesday's broadcast after breaking the news of Lauer's termination:

"We learned this moments ago, just this morning. As you can imagine, we are devastated," Guthrie said. "And we are still processing all of this. I will tell you, we do not know more than what I just shared with you. But we will be covering this story, as reporters, as journalists. I'm sure we'll learn more details in the hours and days to come. We promise to share that with you. Hoda, I mean, you know, for the moment, all we can say is we are heartbroken. I'm heartbroken for Matt. He is my dear, dear friend and my partner. And he is beloved by many, many people here.”

She continued, taking time to collect her thoughts, "And I'm heartbroken for the brave colleague that came forward to tell her story and any other women who have their own stories to tell. And we are grappling with a dilemma that so many people have faced these weeks. How do you reconcile your love for someone with the recognition that they have behaved badly. And I don't know the answer to that. But I know this reckoning that so many organizations have been going through is important. It's long overdue. And it must result in workplaces where all women, all people, feel safe and respected. As painful as it is this moment in our culture, and this change, had to happen."

Kotb then stepped in, adding similar sentiments about wading into the unknown waters of reporting on someone she has known for more than a decade.

"This is a very tough morning for both of us. I've known Matt for 15 years," she said. "And I've loved him as a friend and a colleague. And just like you were saying, Savannah, it's hard to reconcile what we are hearing with the man who we know, who walks in this building every, single day. We're both woken up with the news kind of pre-dawn. And we're trying to process it and make sense of it. And it will take some time for that."

Guthrie added, "We're processing it with all of you at home. And we promise to be transparent and be straightforward and continue this important conversation."

In addition to her personal thoughts on the matter, Guthrie read the statement about Lauer's firing that was released by NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack.

"On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer,” the statement read. “It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment. While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over twenty years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident. Our highest priority is to create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected, and to ensure that any actions.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

ABC News Radio