NBCUniversal is expanding the probe into workplace culture at NBC Entertainment beyond the ongoing investigation triggered by professional misconduct allegations against former Chairman Paul Telegdy. In an internal memo, Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, confirmed the investigation, triggered by a news report last week, without mentioning Telegdy by name. According to sources, the investigation is examining specific allegations made about both Telegdy and Meredith Ahr, President, Alternative and Reality Group.
Telegdy is no longer at the company — Lazarus yesterday unveiled the new structure of his group, with the NBC topper’s exit as part of the announcement.
“We are going to conduct both an investigation into the specific allegations, which will be led by an experienced outside investigator, and a broader culture assessment,” Lazarus said in the memo. “The culture assessment will be facilitated by NBCU’s corporate Fair Employment team and will give me the chance to learn more about your experiences… Once it’s complete, you have my commitment to develop and communicate an action plan based on your feedback.”
In the message, Lazarus also addressed the current restructuring, which will have all NBCU English-language linear networks, including NBC, into one group, overseen by Frances Berwick on the business side and an executive to be named later on the programming side. The consolidation is expected to trigger significant layoffs.
Lazarus said that he is working with the new leadership “to bring more clarity around the new organization and we will have more to share in the coming weeks.”
Here is his email:
I know you all received the news yesterday about how we are restructuring our business to better align resources across our television divisions. I look forward to the future of our company, but I know it also brings up a number of questions. Please know that I am working closely with the new leadership team to bring more clarity around the new organization and we will have more to share in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, I want to update you on how we will address the allegations about inappropriate behavior that were reported in the press.
I haven’t had the opportunity to get to know many of you yet, but I want you to know I deeply believe that we all deserve to work in an environment in which we feel respected and valued.
To that end, we are going to conduct both an investigation into the specific allegations, which will be led by an experienced outside investigator, and a broader culture assessment. The culture assessment will be facilitated by NBCU’s corporate Fair Employment team and will give me the chance to learn more about your experiences. I want to hear from you, and I encourage all of you to participate. Once it’s complete, you have my commitment to develop and communicate an action plan based on your feedback.
The investigation and assessment will happen simultaneously and will begin in the next few days. As always, if you have concerns that you want to make sure are heard now or in the future, please contact Comcast NBCUniversal Listens by calling 1-877-40-LISTENS or at http://www.ComcastNBCUniversalListens.com. You will have the option of reporting anonymously.
I believe the building blocks of great culture start with inclusion, transparency and trust; and I know we can get there together.
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