Former NBC News President returns as Chairman reporting directly to NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke; Pat Fili-Krushel moving to corporate role
The NBC News executive shakeup is official as former NBC News president Andrew Lack is returning as Chairman of NBC News and MSNBC, NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke announced Friday.
Lack, who was NBC News President from 1993-2001, will begin in April and report to Burke. His return spells the end of Pat Fili-Krushel’s tenure as Chairman, a role she assumed in 2012.
Lack returns to his chief post at a tumultuous time for NBC News. The network’s figurehead, Brian Williams, fell from grace in February after it was revealed he exaggerated being on an Iraqi helicopter shot down by RPG fire in 2003. He wasn’t on the plane, which formed a media shark tank leaving NBC News no choice but to suspend the anchor for six months without pay.
In 2014, NBC News was panned for its handling of former “Meet the Press” moderator David Gregory’s exit. Months of gossip about Gregory’s imminent ousting swirled around the show, highlighted by a leak that the network hired a psychologist to figure out why Gregory wasn’t connecting with audiences. NBC News disputed the claim, saying they hired a branding consultant.
There are some bright spots Lack can build on. Gregory’s successor, Chuck Todd, has lifted “Meet the Press” back to competitive status just in time for the ratings sweet spot presidential campaigns bring.
Todd won total viewers on Sunday, February 22nd; his March 1st broadcast marked the biggest total viewer audience in over a year for the program, since the Sochi Olympics. “Today” is also seeing some momentum, beating “GMA” in the coveted 25-54 demo on occasional days.
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