One key player with a stake in whether former NBC News President Andrew Lack will return to the network is Brian Williams.
We reported yesterday that Lack, who presided over the news division from 1993-2001, is in negotiations to return in a high-level position. The Los Angeles Times describes Lack’s possible return as a “potential lifeline” for Williams, who has been sidelined in the wake of a controversy over his faulty recollection of his experiences covering the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
The Times reports that Lack is in “advanced negotiations to take the top news post at the network.” The piece cites NBC executives who are not authorized to talk publicly about the situation.
“He would replace current NBCUniversal News Group Chairman Pat Fili-Krushel, who is set to take another corporate role, the executives said,” the report notes, adding: “Several TV news executives who worked under Andrew Lack’s previous tenure at the network say Lack’s becoming the new head of the news group provides a path for Brian Williams to return from his six-month suspension.”
Lack is credited with grooming Williams for the “NBC Nightly News” anchor’s chair as Tom Brokaw was headed out.
One of the former execs, referring to Williams, said: “While it’s not a guarantee, it certainly indicates that he is coming back.”
“Five other veterans of NBC News with former ties to Lack and Williams agreed with that assessment,” the Times adds.
Another former colleague of both Williams and Lack is quoted saying: “They are great friends. Brian Williams thanks Andy for getting the chair.”
Network executives indicated that NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke sought out Lack when he was considering how to handle the Brian Williams controversy, and Lack offered advice to the news division on the news anchor’s future, the report adds.