Sources say Lack’s name heads a “mix” of people with whom the company is talks for a top post at the news operation, as it looks to dig its way out of a slew of problems. The impressive list includes a suspended broadcast evening newscast anchor, a faltering MSNBC schedule, as well as struggling Today show and Meet The Press. Lack, who left NBC in 2003 to become chairman-CEO of Sony Music Entertainment, and subsequently spent six years at Bloomberg Media, is being talked about this morning by sources as someone who would have a calming influence on a turmoil-tossed NBC News staff, and as an exec who comes fully vetted and who would restore luster to the battered division.
NBC News, once again caught with its pants down as yet another internal situation leaked out, this one via Variety, declined to comment.
NBC News Group chairman Pat Fili-Krushel is expected to be moved to another role within the company if Lack takes a top role within the news group. Current NBC News president Deborah Turness is expected to stick, though her job may be redefined.
It’s unclear whether the return of Lack would increase Brian Williams’ chance for survival as anchor of NBC Nightly News. Yes, Williams and Lack go way back, but “he’s a Journalist,” one sources says of Lack. Williams currently is on a six-month suspension as the company investigates various claims he’s made about his work for the network, and in talk show appearances in his capacity as NBC News managing editor.
In Williams’ absence, NBC News reported this morning that Nightly News dominated another week in the ratings — in total viewers, the news demo, and among viewers ages 18-49 — though good word was barely noticed in the shadow of the shakeup news.