NBC News like other networks has been taking its hits in this era of the me-too movement. Disturbing revelations about Matt Lauer, the once shining star of the division’s Today show lead to his firing late last year. Now the network is dealing with a new round of allegations this time around veteran newsman Tom Brokaw. A former cameraman has even accused the network of ignoring bad behavior. But bad behavior by its well known male talent is not all the news division has been facing. The news division has also been dealing with some management missteps or flubs on the part of NBC News chairman Andy Lack. Since his arrival at the network Mr. Lack spared no time shaking things up and cleaning up the programming. But in doing so many are pointing out some big misses and missteps as well. For example, when he ousted Tamron Hall as the co-host of the Today show’s third hour, Ms. Hall who was also an anchor on MSNBC decided to leave the network. She was removed from the third hour along with co-host Al Roker to make room for Megyn Kelly who Mr. Lack hired from Fox News to host a new show. Ms. Kelly didn’t come cheap either. NBC is said to be paying her $23 million a year for 3 years, and so far she’s yet to deliver a hit for the news division. The third flub to happen on Mr. Lack’s watch is the departure of Ronan Farrow.
Farrow who once hosted his own cable news show on MSNBC, stayed on after his show was cancelled to work on special projects for NBC News. One of the special projects he worked on while at NBC News was the Harvey Weinstein story. Mr. Farrow pitched the story to his bosses but they passed on it forcing him to go to Conde Nast’s New Yorker magazine where the story turned out to be a huge one leading to Mr. Farrow winning a Pulitzer for his work. Since then he’s delivered other major stories for the publication including the recent one about physical abuse allegations against New York State’s attorney general Eric Schneidermanand. The story has since forced the resignation of Mr. Schneiderman once again proving the power and accuracy of Mr. Farrow’s reporting. Now some are starting to wonder out loud if these missteps are hurting Mr. Lacks standing inside the broader NBC-Universal organization. Veteran editor and Columbia professor Bill Grueskin is one of the people now openly questioning Mr. Lack’s judgement. saying:
NBC’s Andy Lack has blown so many key personnel issues – tolerating Matt Lauer & hiring Megyn Kelly. But his failure to keep Ronan Farrow on staff ranks near the top. Or the bottom, depending on how you look at it.
Journalist Yashar Ali is also asking how Mr. Lack allowed a talent like Ronan Farrow out of his organization saying:
NBC executives doubting Farrow’s ability to report out a story is one of the biggest mistakes a news organization has made in the past decade.
With Megyn Kelly misfiring since her arrival at NBC News and Ronan Farrow now delivering blockbuster stories for Conde Nast, how long until NBC Universal’s top brass start questioning Mr. Lacks current strategy and his judgement? Luckily for him, MSNBC is currently enjoying big ratings with its star talents like Rachel Maddow. So for now, Mr. Lack can fall back on that.
You might also like
More from FEATURE
hen magazine media magnate Jason Binn launched his luxury publication Dujour Magazine back in 2012 the magazine was locked, loaded, …
Over the past decade, magazine publishers have been scrambling to keep up with the more nimble nature of digital media …
Since its founding Meredith has operated quietly and efficiently far from the media capital of the world, New York City. …