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Matt Lauer's Alma Mater Keeping 'Today' Show Internship He Helped Start

11/29/2017 11:46 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Matt Lauer was an integral part in developing an exclusive NBC journalism internship for Ohio University students, and despite the news of his firing over sexual misconduct, it's going to stay active ... TMZ has learned.

A spokesperson for Ohio U. tells us ... Lauer was instrumental in starting the "Today" Show Internship at Scripps College of Communications in 2000, and over 60 students have benefited from the program since it began.

The school says it's disappointed to hear of Lauer's alleged conduct at NBC, but also believes the news "serves as an opportunity for continued dialogue with our faculty, staff and students about ethical workplace and personal values."

We're told the "Today" internship will go on -- at least for its next session -- and 4 current students are already set to travel to NYC in January for the spring semester internship.

Lauer dropped out of Ohio U. in 1979, but went back to get his undergrad there in 1997 at the age of 39.

As we reported ... he was fired Wednesday morning for "inappropriate sexual behavior."

NBC Execs Meeting with Staff From News Shows ... To Discuss Lauer Firing

11/29/2017 9:39 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

NBC is scrambling to meet with talent and production staff from its news shows to go over various issues related to Matt Lauer's firing.

We're told Noah Oppenheim, President of NBC News, will be leading the meetings. Our NBC sources say Oppenheim and other execs will be addressing staff from each of its shows, including "Today," "NBC Nightly News," "Meet the Press" and "Dateline." There will be a series of meetings ... one for each show.

Our sources say virtually everyone at NBC was in the dark that Lauer was on the chopping block.  

The lawyer for the woman whose complaint triggered Lauer's firing told The New York Times he and his client met with NBC Human Resources and the legal depts. Monday at 6 PM and lodged her complaint.  

As we reported, we're told NBC had been investigating Lauer for weeks and wanted to get ahead of The New York Times and Variety which were preparing stories on Lauer and alleged sexual misconduct.

Matt Lauer Already Scrubbed from 'Today' Social ... Mostly

11/29/2017 8:30 AM PST

Matt Lauer, formerly the face of NBC, is already a ghost as far as the network's online presence is concerned.

Lauer's been replaced on the "Today" cover photos for the show's social media -- specifically Facebook and Twitter. They used to feature Matt and Savannah Guthrie, but now it's more group shots of all NBC's morning personalities.

Matt is still featured in old "Today" Facebook and Twitter photos and clips -- so, they're not trying to rewrite history. Not yet, anyway.

As we reported ... Lauer was abruptly fired Wednesday after a complaint about inappropriate sexual behavior was filed against him.

Katie Couric in 2012 Matt Lauer Pinched Me on the Ass a Lot

11/29/2017 6:33 AM PST

Katie Couric straight-up said Matt Lauer pinched her on the ass a lot during their 9-year run on the "Today" show.

Katie appeared on Andy Cohen's "Watch What Happens Live" back in 2012, and during a segment -- Plead the Fifth -- Andy asked about Matt's most annoying habit.

What's interesting ... Katie's answer came and went ... it was hardly picked up by the media. It's interesting ... NBC said no one has complained until this week, yet their longtime co-anchor talked about ass-pinching in 2012 and NBC apparently didn't bat an eye.

As we reported ... Matt was fired for "inappropriate sexual behavior" in a stunning announcement Wednesday. We're told the investigation has been going on for weeks and the New York Times and other media outlets were working on a story about Lauer.

Matt Lauer Fired for Sexual Misconduct

11/29/2017 4:26 AM PST
Breaking News

9:10 AM PT -- According to the accusers attorney, Ari Wilkenfeld, he and his client met with NBC's HR and legal teams for several hours Monday night. Wilkenfeld says he believes at this time, NBC acted swiftly and appropriately given the allegations.

5:55 AM PT -- The New York Post is reporting the incident that triggered the firing occurred at the Sochi Winter Olympics, when Lauer allegedly assaulted a female NBC staffer.

5:46 AM PT -- Sources connected to NBC tell TMZ the network has been investigating Lauer for weeks and multiple media outlets -- including The New York Times -- were working a story about the anchor and sexual harassment. As one source put it, "Lack tried to get ahead of the story before it broke."

Matt Lauer is no longer the face of NBC's "Today" -- he's been fired for "inappropriate sexual behavior."

The stunning announcement was made on the air at the top of NBC's "Today" by Savannah Guthrie, who read a memo from NBC News Chairman Andy Lack -- "We received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace by Matt Lauer. It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company's standards. As a result, we've decided to terminate his employment."

Savannah was joined by Hoda Kotb ... and both anchors shared their shock, saying they had found out just moments before going on the air. Savannah had a very shaky voice as she said "we are devastated and we are still processing all of this." She also said she was "heartbroken" for the "brave colleague" who made the complaint.

In the memo, Lack added this was the first complaint reported to NBC, but they "were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident."

Lauer had been, in many ways, the face of the entire Peacock network for more than 20 years as he anchored "Today" ... which is NBC's biggest moneymaker.

Story developing ...

Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie Emotional Hug After Lauer Firing

11/29/2017 7:32 AM PST

Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie hugged it out after Wednesday's "Today" show ... clearly still reeling from the news that Matt Lauer was fired.

The 2 anchors were emotional when they announced on their show Lauer had been fired for sexual impropriety.  

The staff was clearly shaken by the news, and Hoda comforted a crew member after the program.

Matt was with "Today" for 20 years. The NBC Prez said they made a swift decision after a woman came forward Monday, but we're told the network has been investigating Matt for weeks and wanted to get a jump on several media outlets -- including The New York Times -- which were preparing stories on Matt and sexual misconduct. 

Jimmy Fallon 'Tonight Show' Tapings Canceled After Mother's Death

11/5/2017 2:54 PM PST

Jimmy Fallon won't be hitting the TV airwaves anew this week ... NBC canceled new tapings of "The Tonight Show" following his mother's death.

The network announced Sunday there wouldn't be any new 'Tonight Show' episodes airing this week, and that re-runs would be coming on Monday through Friday instead.

As we reported ... Fallon's mother, Gloria, died Saturday in a NYC hospital with Jimmy and other family by her side. She was reportedly quite ill.

Fallon released a statement saying he had lost his "biggest fan" in his mother. Gloria was 68.

Young Kate From 'This Is Us' Whopping Raise For Season 2

10/15/2017 12:20 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

10-year-olds can barely get their hands on a crisp $20 bill, but Mackenzie Hancsicsak, who plays Young Kate on "This Is Us," is already hustling $4k pay raises. 

We got ahold of Mackenzie's minors contract for the hit NBC show. It's her first TV role ever and it landed her a $8,210 payday per episode the first season. 

Cut to season 2 ... Mackenzie got a huge bump to $12.5k an episode. That's a lot considering her raise for season 3 won't be as much ... it'll only go up about $500 to $13k an episode.

Still ... that's a lot of $20s.

Tomi Lahren to Megyn Kelly Haters Gon' Hate Because You're Still a Conservative

9/29/2017 9:17 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Tomi Lahren subscribes to this theory -- you can take Megyn Kelly out of FOX News but you can't take the conservative out of Megyn ... and that's why she's struggling at NBC.

We got Tomi out in NYC and asked her why she thinks Megyn's morning show is making headlines for all the wrong reasons. For the uninitiated ... Megyn asked a "Will & Grace" fan if he became gay after watching the character Will. Megyn also drew a mean side-eye from Jane Fonda, who totally ignored her question about plastic surgery.

Simply put, Tomi says it ain't easy being conservative.

BTW ... Trevor Noah's gotta LOVE that Tomi's plugging his show on her head. Super BTW ... why'd our camera guy interview Tomi in the middle of the street? We're on it.

'This is Us' Brilliantly Calls Out Kardashian Baby Fest!!

9/27/2017 8:04 AM PDT

The writers at "This is Us" must have inside sources -- inside the Kardashian wombs, that is.

If you watched the season 2 premiere Tuesday night (shame on you if you didn't) ... Justin Hartley's character, Kevin, is on the phone with his gf, who can't make it to L.A. to catch a glimpse of the Kardashians.

Kevin put her at ease though ... by reassuring her the K Krew is multiplying at an alarming rate, and they'll be plenty of 'em when she gets to La La Land. Mind you, the episode had to have been shot WAY before TMZ broke news about Kylie and Khloe's pregnancies.

Note to "This is Us" writers: we're hiring, if you really can tell the future!

Don Lemon to Megyn Kelly Why Put Alex Jones On the Air? His Whole Act Is Phony

6/13/2017 1:30 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Don Lemon is torn over Megyn Kelly's controversial interview with radio host Alex Jones -- but ultimately seems to think he's not worth the airtime.

We got the CNN anchor at LAX and asked what he thought about the backlash against Megyn for interviewing the Infowars host ... who's theorized the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax.

Some parents of victims are blasting Megyn, and lobbying NBC to yank the interview. Don, at first, had Megyn's back ... saying sometimes journalists have to go to "dark places."

On a personal level though ... Don dismisses Jones as a total phony who doesn't deserve a platform.

Megyn Kelly Watch My New Show I Got Kim!!!

4/28/2017 6:18 AM PDT

Megyn Kelly was on the set of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" Thursday ... and it's not hard to connect the dots to figure out what's up.

Megyn's jumped from FNC to NBC, where she'll anchor a Sunday night magazine show premiering in June.

We're guessing she wasn't doing a cameo on 'KUWTK,' so by the powers of deduction it seems she's interviewing the klan for her new show.

If she interviewed Kim about the robbery, Ellen may have stolen her thunder ... Kim talked and cried about it on her talk show this week.

The Prez of NBC News went to Russia a few weeks ago and the buzz was that he was trying to score an interview with Putin and Megyn was a contender to ask the questions. No word if Putin's on board, but hey, she got Kim K.

'American Idol' Bidding War Between FOX & NBC

3/28/2017 10:19 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

NBC and FOX are going full bore against each other to bring "American Idol" back. 

We're told both networks have submitted bids to FremantleMedia -- which owns the show -- and a decision could come as early as this week.

Multiple sources familiar with the situation tell TMZ ... NBC wants the show in part to resolve a problem with "The Voice." We're told the network doesn't want to oversaturate the market with the show, which airs twice a year. We're also told Adam Levine only wants to do 1 cycle a year.

If NBC gets 'Idol,' it would rotate 'A.I.' with "The Voice" and each would air once a year.

We're also told NBC has Ryan Seacrest as the favored host the second time around, and FOX would also entertain bringing Ryan back.

Our sources say the target date for bringing 'Idol' back is either Summer 2018 or mid-season 2019.

FOX never gave up on the show ... it just became way too expensive to produce with the talent costs ... Ryan, J Lo, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr. The reboot, we're told, would have a new panel of judges.

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