Matt Lauer’s big risk paid off: he leaped right into the television industry. The same year he dropped out of college, he managed to get a job with WOWK-TV as a producer. Learning the ropes of a brand-new industry is never easy, but he managed it with aplomb, getting the ins and outs of what was required for a newscast – in the meantime, he fell in love with the business.
He had found his place in the world, but he knew he would never be satisfied staying behind the camera. This man was destined for the desk.
Lauer was at the top of his professional game while working on the Today show. He was conducting interviews, working for the crowd, and showing off his professionally-balding head without a care in the world.
But it all came crashing down on November 29, 2017, when NBC confirmed they had terminated the newsman from his employment thanks to a statement by a female NBC worker. While it was the first complaint Lauer had ever received after working over twenty years at NBC, it couldn't be ignored.
He Was a Dropout
Before we drop the bomb on Lauer, let's talk about how he dropped out of college. You'd think a lengthy and expensive career guided Lauer into the upper echelons of newscasting, but you'd be wrong. In fact, Lauer's possible alma mater was nothing special: Scripps College of Communication, School of Media Arts and Studies.
He dropped out in 1979, knowing his future lay waiting for him outside the classroom. Until 2017, of course, he seemed to be right. The decision paid off greatly. The funny thing is while we're sure Scripps is a fine college, it's not what you would call prestigious.
The News Guy
After a year at WOWK-TV, Lauer was up for promotion and he got it. Given the chance to move in front of the camera and appear as an on-air reporter, he was determined to show he could make it in the big leagues. His drive and professionalism shined through during those years, and he was soon traveling the country to appear for various news stations in the U.S.
All that exposure not only helped him hone his craft, but got him noticed by one of the biggest names in the news business: the National Broadcasting Company, or NBC.
He Landed It
Lauer became a household name when the early nineties rolled around, and thanks to this buzz about the young anchor, he got the nod to fill in as a substitute news anchor on the Today show when Margaret Larson was out.
The fill-in gig acted as his audition for the anchor spot, which NBC offered to him in January of 1994. The new year hit, and Lauer became part of the full-time cast. Lauer was overjoyed, since all his hard work had finally paid off in a big way, but he had no idea what was waiting in store for him when he took the job.