Lauer's former RVA co-host: that's not the Matt I knew

Lauer's former RVA co-host: that's not the Matt I knew

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Despite Matt Lauer's silence on the day NBC announced his firing, those closest to him are not keeping quiet about the man they've known for years.

NBC12 caught up with former PM Magazine co-host Denise Kranich, who worked with Lauer at WRIC in Richmond in the early '80s. When it comes to the allegations, she says that's not the Matt she knew. She's now waiting to hear what he has to say about all of this.

"They used to call us Barbie and Ken," Kranich said.

They were the match that brought you feature news from Richmond in the '80s on the nationally-syndicated TV show, PM Magazine.

"He was always very, very good, could always adlib very well. He was wonderful to work with because you never had to worry. Never missed a beat," she added.

Kranich recalls the six months she spent next to Lauer on the anchor desk.

"We became very good friends. I was in his first wedding," said Kranich.

"Did you lose touch in recent years?" NBC12 asked.

"Yes, except every time I'd go to NYC and I'd go to the Today Show. I'd give my business card, and they'd give it to him and he'd rush me in there to talk to him and put me on the air and say 'this is my first co-host. This is Denise'," she added.

Kranich has followed his progress to the top...and the unexpected bombshell, NBC firing Lauer over allegations of sexual misconduct.

"Heartbreaking too, because obviously, I've known him for many, many years," said Kranich.

"Did you ever speculate or witness that kind of behavior?" NBC12 asked.

"Oh no, no, no. I knew him early on. He was always the perfect gentleman," she said.

Kranich applauds the alleged victims for coming forward.

"If this did happen, it needs to be investigated. If there are other folks, I hope they all come out, because it's very important what's going on in our country right now and we need to know about that."

"If you could speak to your old friend, what would you say to him right now?" NBC12 asked.

"Oh my goodness. That's really a tough question. Well, tell the truth. You always need to tell the truth. Own up if you need to own up. You need to talk about it," she replied.

It's been three years since she's spoken with her old friend.

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