Despite his well-known record involving sexual harassment when he worked at ESPN, Mike Tirico has the full support of his new bosses at NBC Sports and will be on the air, as scheduled, broadcasting the Winter Olympics next year.
Tirico was accused of a series of troubling incidents while he was employed at ESPN in the early 1990s, placing him among the ranks of other creepy TV heavyweights like Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose. While NBC immediately fired Lauer amid stunning accusations a week ago, the network has no plans to remove Tirico from its NFL and upcoming Olympics coverage.
While he worked at ESPN, Tirico, 50, was suspended for groping co-workers and soliciting sex from female colleagues in Bristol, Conn.
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"When we hired Mike in 2016, we were aware of the incidents from more than 25 years ago, which had been addressed in 1991-92 by ESPN, his employer at the time, and for which he has apologized," NBC said in a statement, via the Hollywood Reporter. "Mike has repeatedly assured us that this behavior is long in his past, and we have no evidence of anything to the contrary in his tenure at NBC Sports."
Josh Krulewitz, an ESPN spokesperson, also told THR, "these charges were aggressively addressed 25 years ago with a lengthy suspension."
Tirico is set to replace longtime NBC man Bob Costas as the host of the network's nightly Winter Games coverage from South Korea next year.
Lauer was accused of acting inappropriately towards female colleagues at the 2014 Olympics in Russia, accusations that led to his quick termination.
Tirico, who is from Queens, was suspended for three months in 1992 for a series of sexual harassment complaints. The incidents were mentioned in a pair of books about ESPN, including "ESPN: The Uncensored History" by Michael Freeman and "These Guys Have All the Fun" by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales.
NBC was aware of the complaints against Tirico but hired him anyway, according to THR, because he had essentially done his time.