“As leading national news hosts able to reach millions of people, Mr. Lauer and Mr. Rose are in a different sphere,” says Jim Rutenberg. “The notion of anchor as authority — a stubbornly male prototype that goes back to the pre-feminist days of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite — was flawed to begin with. And yet, news organizations continue to depend on stars to what often seems like an unhealthy degree. In this, they are not so different from Hollywood producers whose main concern is having a big opening weekend. The stature of the men behind the desk was such that they ended up holding a high level of power within their organizations to go with their lavish pay. And, per the accusations against them, they used it on underlings who, as one of Mr. Lauer’s accusers put it to The Times, did not feel as if they were able to say no or repeat mistreatment to higher-ups.