NBC News, which has been under fire over allegations in Ronan Farrow’s new book “Catch and Kill,” took more heat after word surfaced that NBC News President Noah Oppenheim had recently signed a new long-term contract.
“A source close to the situation confirmed to Deadline that Oppenheim inked a new multi-year contract with the Comcast-owned network,” Deadline reports. “While corporate winds can blow in many directions, the new deal smoothes the path to the ‘Jackie’ screenplay writer taking the top job at NBC News once Chairman Andy Lack departs.”
Oppenheim, who became president of NBC News in 2017, has been at the center of a firestorm as the division defends itself against allegations in Farrow’s book that NBC News derailed his reporting on Harvey Weinstein. The news division has also been hit with allegations that it was aware of misbehavior by Matt Lauer well before he was fired from “Today” in late 2017.
Deadline notes that Oppenheim sent a memo to staffers last week denying Farrow’s claims, writing: “Not only is this false, the so-called evidence Farrow uses in his book to support the charge collapses under the slightest scrutiny.”
After news broke in The Wall Street Journal about Oppenheim’s contract renewal, a new round of criticism of NBC News began. Deadline quotes a statement from the women’s group UltraViolet, which has been calling for an independent investigation of NBC News.
In the statement, UltraViolet says: “It is deeply disturbing that Comcast would renew its contract with Noah Oppenheim knowing full well that he was facing allegations of enabling sexual abusers in the workplace and had a record of silencing survivors and stories of survivors in the newsroom.”