A source close to the situation confirmed to Deadline that Oppenheim inked a new multi-year contract with the Comcast-owned network. While corporate winds can blow in many directions, the new deal smoothes the path to the Jackie screenplay writer taking the top job at NBC News once chairman Andy Lack departs.
Farrow claims that NBC News sidelined his reporting on Harvey Weinstein, allowing The New York Times to break the first story on allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct. He also contends that NBC News executives were aware of allegations against Matt Lauer before he was fired as host of Today in late 2017. Farrow took his expose to The New Yorker and won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting.
Oppenheim vigorously denied Farrow’s claims in a memo to staffers last week, writing, “Not only is this false, the so-called evidence Farrow uses in his book to support the charge collapses under the slightest scrutiny.”
The Wall Street Journal first reported on Oppenheim’s contract renewal, which triggered more criticism of the network from women’s group UltraViolet, which has been pushing for the network to clean house and open an independent investigation.
“It is deeply disturbing that Comcast would renew its contract with Noah Oppenheim knowing full well that he was facing allegations of enabling sexual abusers in the workplace and had a record of silencing survivors and stories of survivors in the newsroom,” the group said.
Oppenheim was named president of NBC News in early 2017.