NEW YORK – Tennessee native Charlotte Price was standing across the street from the “Today” show studios Wednesday morning while co-anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb were reading, on-air, the stunning news of Matt Lauer’s firing.
But it took a text from her sister back home to let her know what exactly was transpiring.
“It broke so fast,” Price told Fox News outside of the NBC studios. “My sister in Knoxville, Tennessee, messaged me and said ‘Oh newsflash for New York, she said Matt Lauer was just fired’.”
Price, who traveled from Nashville to New York City to celebrate her and her husband’s 31st wedding anniversary, called Lauer an “icon.”
“But, I appreciate the fact that they are trying to clean up the workplace for women, especially,” she added. “But I am shocked. I mean he seems like such an upstanding guy.”
"I happen to think this is the century of the evil one, and it’s not going to end, unless everyone comes back to putting God first, and we Americans have lost that"
Bobby Pavll, a 27-year-old from Savannah, Ga., who was taking a look at the setup for tonight’s Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting -- which Lauer had been scheduled to host -- said he was surprised by the news.
“You never know who is going to be the next person to come down,” Pavll said. “Don’t do anything stupid at work anymore, man. Not that you should ever have done it in the first place.”
Eileen Quinlan of Hampton Bays, N.Y., who was at Rockefeller Center two days after getting married, said she had been a big Lauer fan.
“I watch him as much as I can and his children went to the same school that my daughter taught in,” she said. “I always thought he was a wonderful reporter.”
She said she thinks the trend of high-profile names being swept up in sexual harassment cases won’t end anytime soon.
“I happen to think this is the century of the evil one, and it’s not going to end, unless everyone comes back to putting God first and we Americans have lost that.”
Lauer, 59, was fired for sexually inappropriate behavior at NBC. He had a $20 million/year contract that would have taken him into 2018. Lauer's firing comes just days after "CBS This Morning" host Charlie Rose was canned for his behavior towards women, which included showering naked in front of them at his home.