NBC News chairman says workers should report 'bad behavior' fast

NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack wants his employees to instantly report nasty workplace behavior — regardless of the perpetrator’s network star status.

Lack, in a Friday message to the staff, said NBC’s system for dealing with such cases can’t work unless employees feel comfortable in coming forward with their charges.

“We learned we must do a much better job of making people feel empowered to take that crucial first step of reporting bad behavior,” wrote Lack as NBC’s firing of accused sexual harasser Matt Lauer continued to resonate.

In the case of the “Today” show host, one of his accusers claimed the network star sexually assaulted her inside his 30 Rockefeller Plaza office back in 2001, according to The New York Times.

RELATED: Who will replace Matt Lauer?

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Who will replace Matt Lauer?
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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.
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A second accuser recounted inappropriate sexual behavior by Lauer that began during NBC coverage of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. And three other women alleged that Lauer harassed them, an investigation by Variety magazine charged.

“Many of you have asked what we are doing to learn as much as we can about the circumstances around Matt Lauer’s appalling behavior, why this able to happen, and why it wasn’t reported sooner,” Lack continued.

The television executive then delivered a three-point summary of NBC’s response to the scandal:

— A team of lawyers and human resources experts will conduct a thorough review of the Lauer case “to build a culture of greater transparency.”

— The NBC News division will began an immediate effort to start in-person training on sexual harassment awareness and workplace behavior.

— Additional staff meetings will be held going forward to keep the lines of communication open about the issue.

After the sudden and stunning dismissal of Lauer, Lack issued a Wednesday statement promising to “create a workplace environment where everyone feels safe.”

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