May 4, 2020 - Economy & Business

NBC News chairman Andy Lack to step down amid corporate shakeup

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.

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