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Andy Lack, Nicolle Wallace and Noah Oppenheim at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Photo: Paul Morigi/NBC News/MSNBC/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

NBC News chairman Andy Lack is stepping down and will transition out of the company by the end of May, NBCUniversal announced Monday.

Why it matters: Under Lack, NBC News was accused of attempting to scuttle journalist Ronan Farrow's investigation into allegations of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein. Farrow also accused Lack of downplaying an internal complaint about a rape allegation against then-host Matt Lauer.

  • Cesar Conde, who currently serves as the chairman of NBCUniversal International Group and NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises, will become the chairman of NBC News Group, including MSNBC, CNBC and NBC News.

The big picture: The move comes amid a corporate shakeup at NBCUniversal. Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, will now lead a newly-formed group which brings together all of NBC's TV and streaming operations.

  • These include NBC Entertainment, Telemundo, NBCU's cable networks like USA, Bravo, Oxygen and others, NBCU's international TV networks and its new streaming service, Peacock.

Be smart: Reports surfaced last week that NBCU was considered major cost-cutting measures amid the coronavirus pandemic, including layoffs. More than 60,000 people are employed at NBCUniversal, which is owned by Comcast.

  • The company has not been immune from challenges during the crisis. NBCU's movie studio, Universal, has had to delay film production and distribution. Cable and broadcast networks, while experiencing record viewership have been hit by advertising market declines.
  • The company's parks and resorts division has essentially come to a halt down due to stay-at-home orders.

Disclosure: NBC is an investor in Axios.

Go deeper

Alabama trying to use COVID relief funds to expand prisons

Inside the Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, Ala., in 2018. Photo: Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images

Alabama state lawmakers are trying to funnel up to $400 million of the state's American Rescue Plan funds to pay for a $1.3 billion plan to build and renovate prisons across the state, the Associated Press reports.

Why it matters: Diverting dollars from the COVID-relief package, passed in March, is prompting criticism over misuse.

2 hours ago - World

Jake Sullivan discussed human rights and Yemen with Saudi crown prince

MBS in 2018. Photo: Fayez Nureldine/AFP via Getty

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed efforts to end the war in Yemen, the de-escalation of regional tensions with Iran, and Saudi Arabia's human rights record in their meeting on Monday, a senior U.S. official told Axios.

Why it matters: This was Sullivan's first trip to the Middle East since taking up his post in January, and he was the most senior visitor to the kingdom so far from the Biden administration, which has kept the crown prince at arm's length over his roles in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi and the war in Yemen.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Top Pentagon officials contradict Biden on Afghanistan advice

Photo: Carolone Brehman/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Top military leaders confirmed in a Senate hearing Tuesday they recommended earlier this year that the U.S. keep 2,500 troops in Afghanistan, and that they believed withdrawing those forces would lead to the collapse of the Afghan military.

Why it matters: Biden denied last month that his top military advisers wanted troops to remain in Afghanistan, telling ABC's George Stephanopoulos: "No one said that to me that I can recall."