Tried to Turn MSNBC Into Fox News
Andy Lack is “stepping down” from his long time post as Chairman of NBC News and MSNBC. He is expected to exit by the end of the month in what Axios calls a “corporate shakeup,” but The New York Times says is criticism of his leadership led by, among other, MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow.
During Lack’s tenure NBC News and MSNBC gave shows to right wing pundits like Hugh Hewitt, and former Fox News anchors including Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren. He “was widely thought to have protected Matt Lauer” against grotesque sexual harassment complaints while sidelining Ronan Farrow, whose investigative work on Harvey Weinstein earned him a Pulitzer when he left and brought it to The New Yorker. Under Lack, admired journalists like Melissa Harris-Perry and Joan Walsh saw their contracts were not renewed, and it took a weeks-long social media campaign to save Lawrence O’Donnell’s show.
A brilliant 2017 editorial by Jodi Jacobson, then-president and editor in chief of Rewire.News, demanded Lack’s immediate resignation. Jacobson cited Lack’s “willingness to undermine good journalism, his desire to transform a leading network known for producing fact-based journalism [MSNBC] into Fox-Lite, and his apparent willingness to protect sexual predators for the sake of profits.”
The Times says “Rachel Maddow was among those at NBC who had put pressure on the news division’s leadership team.”