NBC News and MSNBC Chairman Andy Lack will step down from his position at the network at the end of May, according to an announcement made by NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell on Monday. Lack will effectively be replaced by current chairman of NBCUniversal International Group and Telemundo Cesar Conde, who will serve as chairman of the NBCUniversal News Group, which will include NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC, a brand-new position created following the network’s recent reorganization.
Since returning to the organization in 2015, Lack has been party to a series of network scandals, from the push to hire Megyn Kelly in 2017, and her subsequent exit after defending blackface, to Matt Lauer’s dismissal later that same year for sexual misconduct. In his 2019 book Catch and Kill, Ronan Farrow alleges NBC News neglected to act on allegations made against Lauer, a claim the network denied following an internal investigation, one that caused consternation in employees like MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, who called out the organization’s higher-ups on-air in October. Lauer has denied the allegations made against him.
In 2018, former NBC News producer Rich McHugh alleged that he and Ronan Farrow were told to “stand down on the story” about Harvey Weinstein’s long history of alleged sexual assault and harassment. Lack subsequently defended NBC’s decision not to publish their reporting, saying that it was not “ready for air” at the time the network reviewed it, a claim both Farrow and McHugh dispute. In Catch and Kill, Farrow also asserts that Lack himself allegedly harassed two female employees working under him.
“Andrew Lack is stepping down, after public protests calling for leadership change and a unionization effort within the company demanding more transparency about harassment issues there,” Farrow tweeted Monday, along with Vulture’s write-up of sexual harassment allegations against Lack from Catch and Kill. “Grateful to the sources who spoke.”