Matt Lauer is keeping a low profile after being fired from the Today show over sexual misconduct allegations.
Days after his termination, the 59-year-old newsman quietly deactivated his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. The decision to remove himself completely from social media comes after multiple women came forward accusing Lauer of "inappropriate sexual behavior."
On Thursday, the former Today co-host -- who had worked on the NBC morning show for over 20 years -- broke his silence in a statement that was read aloud on the program by his former colleague, Savannah Guthrie.
“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions. To the people I have hurt I am truly sorry,” reads his statement. “As I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC. Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed. I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly."
Who will replace Matt Lauer?
Who will replace Matt Lauer?
Ann Curry -- Viewers were shocked and stunned when Curry was tearfully released from "Today" on air in 2012. According to reports, she had a strained relationship with Lauer, who wanted her dismissed. CEO Steve Burke allegedly told Lauer ahead of the firing, “We need to sign you so we can do Ann," and top execs reportedly celebrated with a toast after she was fired. Although it seems unlikely that the network would potentially rehash old wounds by bringing her back, it could be a popular choice with viewers, many of whom have already taken to Twitter to campaign for her resinstatement.
Megyn Kelly -- When it was first announced that she would leave Fox News for NBC, there were multiple reports of a power struggle to determine her time slot. She's now situated two hours after Lauer's 7 AM spot, but amid all the turmoil, it's possible that she'll manage to snag that top seat.
Craig Melvin -- "Today" weekend co-host Craig Melvin certainly stands a strong stance of the big promotion to Lauer's top slot. He's already a familiar face among viewers, but he lacks the negative baggage of Ann Curry or Megyn Kelly.
Willie Geist -- The "Sunday Today" host has filled in for Lauer on multiple occasions. He's seen all across the network's programming, from MSNBC's "Morning Joe" to NBC News and NBC Sports.
Anderson Cooper -- After the drama with Ann Curry unfolded, leading many viewers to express a distaste for Lauer, rumors floated in 2013 that Anderson Cooper had been approached by NBC about replacing him. However, NBC News exec Alex Wallace at the time dismissed the claim, saying, "We want [Lauer] in the ‘Today’ show anchor chair for many years to come."
Keith Olbermann -- He spent 20 years as a sports reporter before moving into political journalism at MSNBC. Just days ago, he announced he would be ending his GQ web show "The Resistance," explaining that he wanted to retire from political commentary: "No illness. No scandal. No firing. Just I've said what I've had to say," he said. However, he didn't say he wanted to actually retire, leaving open the possibility of returning via a different type of program.
Tamron Hall -- This one's pretty unlikely. Hall decided herself to leave the show, much to the disappointment of many viewers and Hall's own colleagues. She reportedly felt burned by treatment of NBC execs, who booted her from her 9 AM time slot in favor of Megyn Kelly. She could return if there's no bad blood, but there almost certainly is.
Carson Daly -- He's already on the NBC payroll as the host of "The Voice," and some took to Twitter on Wednesday to campaign for him to slide into Lauer's seat.
Discover More Like This
BACK TO SLIDE
Guthrie also broke the news of Lauer's firing on Today, and a source told ET that she has been "affected the most" by the news. "She’s not herself. She’s visibly shaken," the source said, explaining that around the studio on Thursday morning, Guthrie appeared "sad, in deep thought and preoccupied" off-camera. "She is doing her best to stay upbeat and jolly on-air."
A few hours after Guthrie read Lauer's statement on Today, he was spotted in East Hampton, New York, where his family resides, meeting with criminal lawyer Eddie Burke, Jr. An eyewitness tells ET that the TV personality appeared “sad and sheepish” and “did not look happy” during the exchange.
This is the first time Lauer has been seen out since the scandal.