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May 4, 2020, 6:09 p.m. EDT

NBC News chief Andy Lack ousted amid corporate restructuring

Exec did not come off well in Ronan Farrow’s Pulitzer-winning Harvey Weinstein exposé

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By Associated Press

NBC via AP
NBC News chairman Andrew Lack.

NEW YORK — NBC News chief Andy Lack is out following a corporate restructuring announced Monday that places Telemundo executive Cesar Conde in charge of NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC.

Lack’s departure was revealed when Jeff Shell, new NBC Universal CEO, outlined a new corporate governance plan. Besides Conde’s elevation, Shell is giving broad new powers over NBC’s entertainment properties to Mark Lazarus, who has overseen NBC Sports.

The 72-year-old Lack has had two runs as head of NBC News, the first as NBC News president from 1993 to 2001, and he rejoined the company as news chairman in 2015.

NBC News’ flagships, “NBC Nightly News” and “Today,” generally run second to ABC in viewership but are stronger among the lucrative young advertising demographic. MSNBC has gained popularity, often second only to Fox News Channel as the second most-popular cable news network each week.

The news division was embarrassed, however, when Ronan Farrow took his reporting on disgraced Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein to the New Yorker and complained his bosses at NBC showed little interest in his work. NBC said Farrow’s material wasn’t ready to be aired.

Farrow won a Pulitzer Prize for his work on the Farrow case, and the restructuring was announced as this year’s Pulitzer’s were being awarded.

Lack’s signing of Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly to a big-money deal turned out to be a high-profile failure.

Conde’s appointment as chairman of the NBC Universal News Group puts him in charge of NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC. Under the old structure, Lack did not oversee CNBC. The individual presidents, Noah Oppenheim at NBC News, Phil Griffin at MSNBC, and Mark Hoffman at CNBC, remain.

Lazarus becomes chairman of NBC Universal Television and Streaming, putting him in charge of NBC’s broadcast division, entertainment cable networks like Bravo and USA, and the new Peacock streaming service.

NBC Universal is a unit of Comcast Corp. /zigman2/quotes/209472081/composite CMCSA -1.07%  

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