The former president of NBC News is in talks to return to the news division, according to Variety. The publication reports that Andrew Lack is negotiating a possible return to a top post as part of what Variety calls “a management shakeup following the debacle that led to the suspension of ‘Nightly News’ anchor Brian Williams and other recent missteps.”
Variety reports: “The discussions are in the early stages, but Lack is expected to return in a top role, if not the top job, overseeing NBCUniversal’s news operations: NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC. Pat Fili-Krushel, who has headed NBCUniversal News Group as chairman since 2012, may move to a different position within NBCUniversal.”
NBC News President Deborah Turness is expected to remain with the company, although the report cites a source close to the situation saying that Turness could wind up with a different role.
“Turness has been under fire for the division’s response to the controversy that erupted over Williams’ misleading statements on ‘NBC Nightly News’ about his experiences … covering the Iraq war in 2003. The incident led to the anchor being suspended for six months without pay last month,” Variety reports.
A representative for NBCU declined to comment for the report.
Lack was president of NBC News from 1993-2001, and has more recently spent time with Bloomberg Media and other companies.
Variety notes: “The discussions with Lack were spurred during the past few weeks by NBCU management’s desire to bring in a seasoned journalist to help manage the crisis situation. Fili-Krushel is a highly regarded TV exec but her lack of journalism experience has been a source of criticism as NBC News’ operations have been scrutinized following the Williams’ scandal and other reporting issues that have surfaced.”
The report cites one example that took place last month. “NBC News chief global correspondent Bill Neely reported that suspects in France’s Charlie Hebdo killings were dead or in custody — information that was not accurate, but that was reiterated in a broadcast by Williams,” Variety reports. “The TV journalists had to retract the claims, and acknowledge the government-intelligence sources they had relied upon did not give sound facts.”