NBC Information has changed the longtime govt producer of “As we speak” with a lady, in what often is the newest fallout from its shock firing of Matt Lauer for sexual misconduct.
NBC introduced on Wednesday that Don Nash, a well-liked producer who’s spent most of his three-decade NBC profession at “As we speak,” had chosen to step all the way down to spend extra time along with his household. This got here on the identical day that former “As we speak” host Ann Curry, who was compelled off the present by Lauer in 2012, gave her first interview since her firing and described a pervasive ambiance of verbal intercourse harassment on the present throughout her time there. Curry additionally mentioned she was not shocked by the allegations in opposition to Lauer.
“I feel it could be shocking if somebody mentioned they did not see that,” an uncomfortable Curry mentioned. She added, “I might be shocked if many ladies didn’t perceive that there was a local weather of verbal harassment that existed.”
NBC Information chairman Andy Lack had nothing however good issues to say about Nash in an inside memo that was rapidly leaked to the media. “I can not thank Don sufficient… He leaves with each side of the present on prime and with a legacy he ought to be happy with,” Lack wrote.
Nevertheless, a Florida NBC affiliate reported that the interior memo was “met with skepticism inside and outdoors NBC, given the community’s firing of ‘As we speak’ co-host Matt Lauer final November.”
“It’s actually unfair that NBC had him announce this on the day that Ann Curry did her first TV interview,” one NBC staffer instructed the Each day Mail.
Nash shall be changed by Libbie Leist, a profession NBC producer who “As we speak” skilled and CNN media reporter Brian Stelter described as a “shut pal” of “As we speak” co-host Savannah Guthrie.
Untouched within the shakeup are NBC Information’ two prime executives, Lack and Noah Oppenheim, who’ve been warding off requires an impartial investigation to look into their ties to Lauer and whether or not they appeared away from or inspired sexual harassment at NBC Information.
“Curry tells of the verbal sexual harassment at NBC but nobody is being held accountable on the highest degree. The community is making an attempt to dodge its duty in treating its feminine staffers like rubbish,” Media Analysis Middle Vice President Dan Gainor instructed Fox Information.
Oppenheim was a senior producer at “As we speak” throughout the years that Curry described the “verbal harassment” and returned to supervise “As we speak” in 2015 after Curry’s ouster. NBC staffers have instructed Fox Information that he was a disengaged supervisor who confirmed little curiosity in addressing cultural points on the program and continued to work actively as a Hollywood screenwriter. These staffers additionally described Nash – who has not been accused of any misconduct — as a scapegoat.
“This transfer is about Andy and Noah making an attempt guilty another person and save themselves,” mentioned an NBC insider.
NBC didn’t reply to requests for remark.
Insiders say Nash – who in a press release final yr denied any data of Lauer’s unhealthy conduct — served solely at Lauer’s pleasure and was by no means able to regulate the highly effective TV star. These insiders instructed Fox Information that ever since Lauer engineered Curry’s ouster and signed a brand new contract in 2012, NBC administration, together with Lack and NBC Common boss Steve Burke, had given Lauer absolute management over this system.
Journalism icon Porter Bibb mentioned that NBC Information has “lengthy evidenced poor administration and weak decision-making,” pointing to permitting Lauer to “micromanage” the community’s flagship morning present as a key instance.
“These failures weren’t Don Nash’s however his bosses’ who run NBC Information,” Bibb instructed Fox Information.
Lack not too long ago introduced a “tradition evaluation” of the division he oversees and an assortment of different bureaucratic efforts to fight intercourse harassment, akin to focus teams and necessary coaching on office conduct. Not one of the steps taken by NBC Information place any blame on Lack or Oppenheim, whereas NBC guardian Comcast has not been clear about its investigation to find out who knew about Lauer.
Comcast declined a request for remark concerning whether or not or not something has been reported to HR Government Vice President Patricia Langer and Vice President, Basic Counsel Kimberley D. Harris.
“The investigation remains to be ongoing. I’ve no additional replace,” a Comcast spokesperson instructed Fox Information.
Media analyst Jeffrey McCall instructed Fox Information that “someone within the NBC hierarchy needed to take a fall for the Lauer scenario and Nash is seemingly that man.”
“Frankly, I do not suppose that’s enough. If Lack and Oppenheim actually did not find out about Lauer’s misbehavior, they need to nonetheless be held accountable for being so oblivious to what was taking place with excessive profile expertise in their very own operation,” McCall mentioned. “NBC is mismanaging this complete scenario and the model is taking successful within the public eye.”
If Nash is getting used as a scapegoat, it seems the technique is working with some publications. Selection reported his departure by noting that “Nash is stepping down after NBC Information mentioned it could conduct an inside evaluate of the way it dealt with the Lauer imbroglio,” whereas Politico identified that the “transfer alerts the biggest shift in administration on the program since former host Matt Lauer was fired from the community in November amid allegations of sexual misconduct.”
NBC Information has been broadly criticized for its resolution to spike Ronan Farrow’s reporting on Hollywood heavy hitter Harvey Weinstein that has racked up Pulitzer Prize buzz since being revealed in The New Yorker. Observers have not too long ago mused whether or not NBC executives’ reluctance to show massive stars’ unhealthy conduct was linked to what Self-importance Honest as soon as referred to as a “glass homes” drawback.
NBC Information fired Senior Vice President Matt Zimmerman final yr after he had “engaged in inappropriate conduct with a couple of girl” on the community. Zimmerman was identified to be Lauer’s closest pal on the community. NBC’s critics have famous that Oppenheim moonlights as a Hollywood screenwriter and had a battle of curiosity in standing judgment over Weinstein, lengthy the premier producer of “status” Hollywood movies. Oppenheim had additionally sat at a small desk with Weinstein on the unique “Time 100” dinner in New York in April, whereas Farrow’s investigation was effectively underway.
Oppenheim, who as soon as labored full time as a screenwriter, has lengthy been represented by the Inventive Arts Company. The New York Occasions not too long ago revealed a prolonged characteristic that particulars CAA’s position in defending Weinstein. Farrow was additionally with CAA however fired CAA and signed with its main competitor, WME, lower than per week after his story was revealed in The New Yorker. He has since bolted NBC Information for HBO.
In the meantime, Lack and Oppenheim have nonetheless not defined why they didn’t report the “Entry Hollywood” tape of Donald Trump making lewd feedback about girls. The tape of Trump caught on a scorching mic was leaked from inside NBC to The Washington Put up’s David Fahrenthold, who’s Oppenheim’s pal from prestigious Harvard College, the place they labored as editors collectively on the scholar newspaper.