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Andy Lack Returns To NBC News

Andy Lack has returned to NBC as chairman of NBC News and MSNBC, making official a move that had been rumored.

NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke said in an NBC internal memo that Lack will replace current NBC News Group chairman Pat Fili-Krushel. “Andy’s experience and familiarity with our company and specifically the news division will be critical to our growth and success."

Lack, who ran NBC News from 1993-2001, will take over a news department recently stung by the Brian Williams scandal, in which the Nightly News anchorman was suspended for six months after he lied about his coverage of the Iraq War.

He will also oversee a ratings-challenged MSNBC, which has saw its primetime average drop 8% year to year in 2004 to less than 600,000 subscribers.

CNBC president Mark Hoffman will report to Lack. “Mark Hoffman, President of CNBC, and Andy will work closely to ensure that where appropriate CNBC will leverage the strength of the News Group portfolio,” Burke said in the memo.

Lack paved the way for the move by resigning as CEO of the Broadcasting Board of Governors on Wednesday.

The full Burke memo reads as follows:

I want to let you know about some changes we are making within the NBCUniversal News Group. Andy Lack is returning to the company as Chairman, NBC News and MSNBC. Andy will join our Executive Committee and report directly to me. He will begin in April.

Pat Fili-Krushel, who has been one of my most trusted advisors since she joined NBCUniversal four years ago, will move into a new corporate role on my executive team.

Andy is an accomplished journalist who began his award-winning news career in 1976 at CBS and rose through the newsroom ranks until he joined NBC News as President in 1993. While at NBC, he presided over the News division’s unprecedented rise to number one, led by Today, Nightly News, Dateline and Meet the Press. In 2001 Andy was promoted to President and COO of NBC, where he was responsible for news, entertainment, TV stations, MSNBC and CNBC. Andy’s executive leadership also includes six years as CEO and Chairman of the Bloomberg Media Group, before leaving in September of 2014 to assume his most recent position as CEO of the Broadcasting Board of Governors. Prior to that, he was CEO and Chairman of Sony Music Entertainment.

Andy’s experience and familiarity with our company and specifically the news division will be critical to our growth and future success. Deborah Turness, President of NBC News and Phil Griffin, President of MSNBC will both report to Andy. Mark Hoffman, President of CNBC, and Andy will work closely to ensure that where appropriate CNBC will leverage the strength of the News Group portfolio. Mark will continue on the Executive Committee and report to me. All of Pat’s other direct reports will report to Andy.

When we created the News Group in 2011, I asked Pat to run it in order to maximize the combined strength of our portfolio as audiences fundamentally change the way they consume news. In that time Pat has helped position the organization for future growth by integrating television and digital, creating innovative partnerships, and modernizing the tools and technology we use to gather and deliver news. As she approaches three years in the role, I have asked Pat to return to my team and work directly with me again as she did before she took on her news responsibilities. I am grateful to Pat for her work and accomplishments at the NBCUniversal News Group and for helping to identify Andy as her successor. I look forward to having her back on the 51st floor.

Please join me in welcoming Andy back to our company and in thanking Pat.

Steve