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Matt Lauer fallout: Impact on morning TV war, and what’s NBC’s role in managing its stars?

NBC Today host Matt Lauer visits NBC's
NBC Today host Matt Lauer visits NBC's "Today" at Rockefeller Plaza on July 9, 2013 in New York City.
Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

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It’s the second time this month, first with Charlie Rose and now with Matt Lauer, that a prominent male host has been let go from their morning show seat because of sexual assault allegations.

Morning shows have long been an institution of American media and the host-viewer connection can feel like an intimate one, so what do these high-profile departures mean for the morning shows as they continue to battle for the eyeballs of viewers?

The recent revelations of the allegations against Lauer, as detailed in Variety’s recent piece, also raise questions about what management is willing to overlook in order to retain its “talent.” Their depiction is one of Lauer as a star given latitude to mistreat and sexualize co-workers with no consequence.

How can management set boundaries for its talent and create a better work environment? Do you have experience working in an environment where “talent” gets a free-pass?


Brian Steinberg, senior TV editor for Variety; he tweets @bristei

Beth Livingston, professor of management and organizations at the University of Iowa