Dawn of a new Today: Tense Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and Hoda Kotb engaged in deep conversation as they put NBC's day of hell behind them to host Rockefeller Christmas Tree lighting WITHOUT Matt Lauer
- Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker put on a united front hosting Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting event Wednesday
- Trio of Today Show hosts smiled throughout the evening despite missing Matt Lauer who was fired by NBC earlier in the day
- Nightly News anchorman Lester Holt joined Guthrie, Kotb and Roker on stage
- Hours before event, NBC reportedly struggled to edit pre-tapped footage that featured Lauer?
- An insider said it was 'awkward' for the station to edit around Lauer's segments
- Several women have accused him of sexual harassment and impropriety?
- Lauer had been hosting the NBC Christmas tree lighting since 1998?
- NBC has also deleted Lauer from all of their social media accounts and websites?
The annual Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting event kicked off Wednesday night with just?Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker putting on a united front hosting the event after Matt Lauer was fired from the Today show over sexual misconduct claims.
The trio of Today Show hosts smiled throughout the evening while on camera despite missing Lauer - who was set to be on stage with them for the popular event that's watched by millions around the world.?
The seasoned journalists, who were likely exhausted from the hectic day, stuck together and seamlessly introduced the performers of the night, including Brett Eldredge, Jennifer Nettles, Leslie Odom Jr., Pentatonix, Gwen Stefani?and The Tenors, among others.
They did not mention Lauer at all throughout the night, who was also scrubbed by NBC from their websites and social media accounts.
But hours before the popular event started at 7pm CT, NBC executives were reportedly struggling to cut footage of the disgraced ex-Today show host from the footage they pre-tapped as he was included in a substantial chunk, an insider told Page Six.
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The annual Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting event kicked off Wednesday night with just Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker (above) putting on a united front hosting the event after Matt Lauer was fired from the Today show over sexual misconduct claims
The trio of Today Show hosts smiled throughout the evening while on camera despite missing Lauer - who was set to be on stage with them for the popular event that's watched by millions around the world
But when not on camera, the group chatted privately on the stage and some of those moments appeared to be emotional and tense as they were all likely exhausted from the shocking situation
Roker also shared a selfie he took alongside Guthrie and Kotb and shared it to his Instagram account.?He captioned it: 'Getting ready to light the #rockcenterxmasstree on @NBC with my pals @hodakotb and @savannahguthrie.'
NBC Night News anchor Lester Holt joined Roker, Kotb and Guthrie on stage for the event later in the evening alongside the famed Rockettes
The trio of Today Show hosts and Holt were joined on stage by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (far left), Jerry Seyer and Rob Speyer to light the 75-foot tall Norway spruce tree together
After the lights on the huge tree were turned on, Guthrie signed off for the hosts and wished everyone a good night
The hosts were not pictured on camera saying goodbye after the whirlwind day of news
'Much of that has been pre-taped already,' the insider said. 'They must be scrambling to figure out how to edit around that. Awkward!'
Kotb, Guthrie and Roker took turns throughout Wednesday night's event to share their individual special holiday moments, a move likely to make up for the footage that had to be cut featuring Lauer.?
The hosts were later joined on stage by NBC Nightly News host Lester Holt, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and other officials moments before the tree lighting.?
After the lights on the huge tree were turned on, Guthrie signed off for the hosts and wished everyone a good night, finally ending one of the longest days the group has had for the year.??
During the event, Roker shared a selfie he took alongside Guthrie and Kotb and shared it to his Instagram account.?
The seasoned journalists stuck together and seamlessly introduced the performers of the night, including Brett Eldredge (above)
Leslie Odom Jr. (left) and?Harry Connick Jr. also took the stage at the popular event?
The famed Rockettes (above) also performed prior to the tree lighting?
He captioned it: 'Getting ready to light the #rockcenterxmasstree on @NBC?with my [email protected] and @savannahguthrie.'
In the image, Roker and Kotb both had wide smiles, while Guthrie seemingly appeared to be drained and still reeling from the emotional day that started with her announcing alongside Kotb that Lauer was fired.??
The father-of-three, who had been hosting Christmas in Rockefeller Center since 1998, was axed from his $25-million-a-year position at NBC after a 24-hour investigation by NBC into claims made by one woman.
She told NBC bosses on Monday that Lauer had sexually harassed her at the Sochi Olympics in 2014.
She made the same claims to Variety for an article published Wednesday, along with nine other unidentified women who made their own claims against him.
NBC's execs were reportedly struggling to cut Matt Lauer from NBC's Christmas tree lighting show. He's seen second from right, along with (l-r) Alec Baldwin and his daughter Carmen; Kate McKinnon; and Hoda Kotb in 2016
Lauer (seen left in undated photo with Al Roker and Jane Pauley) has been presenting the NBC event (left in 2016) since 1998. Many segments were pre-taped, and reportedly had to be edited
So far 10 women have accused Lauer (seen with Roker, Kotb and, second from right Savannah Guthrie last year) of sexual harassment or impropriety
One claimed that Lauer had given her a sex toy for Christmas, along with an 'explicit' note saying how he would like to use it on her.
Another said that Lauer had flashed her while she was in his office, then 'reprimanded' her after the refused to engage in sex acts.?
That same office was equipped with a button that allowed Lauer to lock the door using a button on his desk, two women told the site.?
'This afforded him the assurance of privacy,' wrote Variety reporter Ramin Setoodeh.
'It allowed him to welcome female employees and initiate inappropriate contact while knowing nobody could walk in on him.'
One producer told the magazine that 'There were a lot of consensual relationships, but that's still a problem because of the power he held.
'He couldn't sleep around town with celebrities or on the road with random people, because he's Matt Lauer and he's married. So he'd have to do it within his stable, where he exerted power, and he knew people wouldn't ever complain.'??
Tough morning: The news of Lauer's firing was announced at the top of the program by Savannah Guthrie, who could be seen clutching Hoda Kotb's hand for support (above)
Timing:?This all comes just as exposes detailing claims of sexual misconduct against Lauer are set to be released by Variety and The New York Times (Kotb above on Wednesday)
'This is a very tough morning for both of us. I've known Matt for 15 years. And I've loved him as a friend and a colleague,' said Kotb
He often used the Olympics as an opportunity to sleep with women, the sources said - so much so that his wife accompanied him to the 2012 London Olympics because she didn't trust him.
NBC chairman Andy Lack told staff that Lauer had been fired in a memo Wednesday.
'On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer,' he wrote.
'It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company's standards. As a result, we've decided to terminate his employment.'???
Guthrie had the difficult task of breaking the news about Lauer being fired from the network on Wednesday morning.?
She maintained her composure throughout the opening segment despite tearing up at times, and at one point was clutching on to Kotb.
Shut it down:?Natalie Morales said on Access Hollywood (above) that she was shocked, and firmly stated once again that she and Lauer did not engage in a relationship at Today
'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,' said Guthrie.
'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.'
Guthrie, in comments that very much echoed the ones made just last week by CBS This Morning hosts Norah O'Donnell and Gayle King, then spoke about this watershed moment for victims of sexual misconduct.
'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,' said Guthrie.
'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.'
She then stated: 'As painful as it is this moment in our culture, and this change, had to happen.'
Guthrie and Kotb learned the news just before they went on air, as did the rest of the NBC News staff.
'On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer,' wrote Lack in his letter.
'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 that run counter to our core values are met with consequences, no matter who the offender.'???
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