NBC went public with the results of its internal investigation that followed Matt Lauer’s firing, with the network coming under fire for refusing to bring aboard outsiders to examine its practices, the AP reports.
“While making the report public is a positive step, NBC needed an independent third party to look at its practices to make the findings credible, said the organization Press Forward, made up of women who worked in the news industry who experienced sexual misconduct,” the AP reports.
Eleanor McManus, a co-founder of Press Forward, is quoted in the story saying: “No one is going to be fully candid when speaking to management for fear of losing their jobs. News organizations, journalists and media all hold corporations, governments and individuals to higher standards in similar instances, so it’s concerning that NBC would not choose to follow those same standards itself.”
The investigation, conducted by NBCUniversal general counsel Kim Harris, concluded that NBC’s news division does not have a culture of sexual harassment, the AP reports. “NBC said the work of its all-female investigative team was reviewed and approved by two outside firms,” the report adds.
“Investigators also said more needs to be done to ensure that the more than 2,000 employees at NBC News can talk about bad behavior without fearing retaliation, leading NBC News Chairman Andy Lack to establish a way this can be done outside the company,” the AP reports, noting: “Harris’ report was primarily concerned with Lauer, and no specific complaints about others were discussed. There was no mention of a former NBC News employee’s accusation last month that former ‘Nightly News’ anchor Tom Brokaw made unwanted advances on her, which he has denied.”
The report adds: “Investigators found no evidence that anyone ‘in position of authority’ at NBC News knew that Lauer had sexual relationships with others in the company until the Nov. 27 complaint by a woman about an affair that began at the 2014 Winter Olympics. Still, two of the four women who complained about Lauer said they believed someone in management knew about his behavior.”