There’s been a disturbance in the
Force, er, Farce:
“The chairman of NBC News, Andrew Lack, will depart his role at the end of May, NBC Universal said on Monday, an abrupt end to the tenure of an executive whose tenacity and ability to withstand turmoil made for a long career in the fickle television news business.
“The announcement brings to a close Mr. Lack’s tumultuous time at the helm of NBC News, during which he oversaw a turnaround in marquee properties like the “Today” show and the cable channel MSNBC while grappling with a cascading series of controversies … Cesar Conde, the chairman of Telemundo, will effectively replace Mr. Lack. As the chairman of the NBC Universal News Group, a newly created position, Mr. Conde will have oversight of NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC.”
Shorter: to cover America, newsrooms should look like America, and NBC’s didn’t.
Mr. Lack, as some of you may know, was the person ultimately responsible for NBC News hiring Megyn Kelly, which turned out to be an expensive mistake. Keeping Chris Matthews on the air past his expiration date, yeah, that was Lack’s mistake. Lack would also be responsible for spiking Ronan Farrow’s work on Harvey Weinstein; likewise Matt Lauer’s tenure as a creep at the Today Show went on way too long, as did another serial creep: Mark Halperin. He’s not personally responsible for any of those things, but they all happened on his watch.
So if you look at all of those mistakes, there’s one simple conclusion you can draw: Lack is a man from another era who fundamentally does not understand our modern age. It’s the Patriarchy, Stupid.
(Which also explains Dancin’ Dave Gregory, Chuck Todd, Hugh Hewitt, Morning Joe, amazingly untalented people given incredible platforms.)
So a lot of reasons are behind this, not the least of which is that like all the other media outlets, the ad revenue is plummeting during the pandemic, and so costly mistakes count double.
Prediction: look for more firings to come (but probably not on-air “talent” unless something truly egregious happens).
Pro-prediction: the news division will have a house-cleaning after the conclusion of the 2020 Goat Rodeo.