Although Andy Lack has been spending a lot of time at 30 Rock, today is his official first day back in charge of NBC News.
Lack returns to the Peacock Network as chairman of NBC News and speculation is rife about his first moves as he battles to restore the news division’s tarnished credibility.
Page Six writes that he faces the unenviable task of cleaning up the lingering mess over Brian Williams’ suspension at “Nightly News,” tackling MSNBC’s disastrous ratings, plus how to get the flagship “Today” back on top, and to maneuver “Meet the Press” out of third place in the Sunday current affairs shows.
Insiders said both NBC News President Deborah Turness and MSNBC President Phil Griffin — who both report to Lack — are vulnerable, with one saying, “Lack is going to clean house.” However, other reports have suggested that Turness and Griffin have developed a good relationship with Lack well before he took over the big job at NBC News.
Meanwhile, on the talent side, the speculation is that, despite Lack’s warm relationship with Williams, he may not return to the “Nightly News” anchor chair. This comes after exhaustive focus-group polling done by NBC staffers during his absence, while Lester Holt has done a solid job standing in for the disgraced newsman and maintaining the show’s ratings.
MSNBC is facing a huge overhaul, its daytime lineup will be shaken up to focus on hard news, amid internal NBC gossip that Al Sharpton may be shuffled to a later night or weekend slot.
And at “Today,” which is still battling to claw back its ratings after falling second to ABC’s “Good Morning America,” there’s rumors that exec producer Don Nash could be under threat. Another source said, “Noah Oppenheim [who was recently recruited as ‘Today’s’ SVP and executive-in-charge] is running the show and calling all of the shots, leaving Nash as a lame duck.”
Reps for NBC and MSNBC declined to comment.