NBC Universal CEO Steve Burke announced in a staff memo this morning that Andy Lack is returning to the company after over a decade away. This news has been expected, especially after Lack resigned as CEO and Director of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, a federal oversight group.
Lack was named NBC News President in 1993 after the Dateline-GM controversy. During his tenure, Brian Williams was groomed as Tom Brokaw’s successor, Matt Lauer and Katie Couric led the Today Show to ratings glory, and NBC News was first with each of its programs. In 2001, he was named COO and President of NBC, which also included MSNBC and CNBC. In his new role as head of the NBC Universal News Group, he will oversee NBC News and MSNBC. Mark Hoffman, the President of CNBC will report to Burke, while also working with Lack. NBC News President Deborah Turness and MSNBC President Phil Griffin will report to Lack, who in turn reports to Burke.
Lack will again inherit an NBC News in disarray. The Today Show is firmly in second place. Nightly News is fighting to remain in first while its anchor, Brian Williams, is suspended and Meet the Press is fighting to regain first. Meet the Press is a bright spot as it has become increasingly competitive under new host, Chuck Todd.
Lack returns to NBC Universal in April.
I want to let you know about some changes we are making within the NBCUniversal News Group. Andy Lack is returning to the company as Chairman, NBC News and MSNBC. Andy will join our Executive Committee and report directly to me. He will begin in April.
Pat Fili-Krushel, who has been one of my most trusted advisors since she joined NBCUniversal four years ago, will move into a new corporate role on my executive team.
Andy is an accomplished journalist who began his award-winning news career in 1976 at CBS and rose through the newsroom ranks until he joined NBC News as President in 1993. While at NBC, he presided over the News division’s unprecedented rise to number one, led by “Today,” “Nightly News,” “Dateline” and “Meet the Press.” In 2001 Andy was promoted to President and COO of NBC, where he was responsible for news, entertainment, TV stations, MSNBC and CNBC. Andy’s executive leadership also includes six years as CEO and Chairman of the Bloomberg Media Group, before leaving in September of 2014 to assume his most recent position as CEO of the Broadcasting Board of Governors. Prior to that, he was CEO and Chairman of Sony Music Entertainment.
Andy’s experience and familiarity with our company and specifically the news division will be critical to our growth and future success. Deborah Turness, President of NBC News and Phil Griffin, President of MSNBC will both report to Andy. Mark Hoffman, President of CNBC, and Andy will work closely to ensure that where appropriate CNBC will leverage the strength of the News Group portfolio. Mark will continue on the Executive Committee and report to me. All of Pat’s other direct reports will report to Andy.
When we created the News Group in 2011, I asked Pat to run it in order to maximize the combined strength of our portfolio as audiences fundamentally change the way they consume news. In that time Pat has helped position the organization for future growth by integrating television and digital, creating innovative partnerships, and modernizing the tools and technology we use to gather and deliver news. As she approaches three years in the role, I have asked Pat to return to my team and work directly with me again as she did before she took on her news responsibilities. I am grateful to Pat for her work and accomplishments at the NBCUniversal News Group and for helping to identify Andy as her successor. I look forward to having her back on the 51st floor.
Please join me in welcoming Andy back to our company and in thanking Pat.