Former NBC News Chief Lack Returns to Network in Leading RoleGerry Smith
Andrew Lack is returning to NBCUniversal to be chairman of NBC News and MSNBC as the company tries to move on from the controversy over Brian Williams’s embellished account of a helicopter ride during the Iraq war.
Lack, 67, will begin in April, NBCUniversal Chief Executive Officer Steve Burke said in a memo to staff Friday. Lack was NBC’s president and chief operating officer from 2001 to 2003 and ran NBC News for eight years before that. The network said Lack wasn’t available for an interview.
“Andy’s experience and familiarity with our company and specifically the news division will be critical to our growth and future success,” Burke said.
NBC News is trying to regain the public’s trust after Williams acknowledged he hadn’t been in a chopper hit by a rocket-propelled grenade in Iraq in 2003 as he had said earlier. In February, NBC suspended Williams without pay for six months, and Lester Holt replaced him as anchor of NBC’s “Nightly News.”
Patricia Fili-Krushel, who is chairman of NBCUniversal’s news division, will move into a new corporate role at the company, Burke said. NBC News President Deborah Turness and Phil Griffin, president of the cable news channel, MSNBC, will report to Lack.
Lack has also served as chairman of Sony Music Entertainment and, until last year, was chairman of Bloomberg Media Group. In January, he became chief executive officer of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, an independent federal agency that oversees U.S. civilian news media such as Voice of America.
During his tenure at NBC, “NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw,” “Meet the Press” and “The Today Show” took the top ratings spots in their time periods.
Before joining NBC and Sony, Lack worked at CBS News, where he was the executive producer of the newsmagazine “West 57th,” senior executive producer of “CBS Reports” and a producer for “60 Minutes.”