Andy Lack, the recently appointed CEO of the Broadcasting Board of Governors who equated RT with the Islamic State for ‘pushing a point of view,’ has stepped down. He is returning to NBC News where he was president between 1993 and 2001.
The move by Lack back to NBC comes as the news organization is
still reeling from a scandal where one of its highest-paid news
anchors, Brian Williams, was caught lying about his involvement
in a story. Lack’s return is being seen by some as part of a
management reshuffle. The BBG Chairman and the president of NBC
Universal, Jeff Shell, confirmed Lack’s departure in a call with
The Broadcasting Board of Governors is a federal agency that
oversees all of the United States’ media operations overseas,
such as Voice of America, Radio Free Europe and TV Marti. Under
pressure to reform itself, Lack’s appointment as CEO of BBG put
him in charge of an agency with a $700 million budget, one that
manages broadcast programs that reach more than 200 million
people each week and provide help on shaping world opinion about
the United States.
Shell had previously said Lack was the right pick because “he
has successfully steered large organizations through changes in
competitive media environments.”
However, Lack’s ultimately brief tenure at BBG began on a
controversial note when he made critical comments about RT in an
interview with the New York Times. He detailed some of the
challenges going forward for the BBG, saying he would spearhead
the agency to counter suspicious views of Americans abroad and
engage international rivals such as China and Russia in the
high-stakes information war.
As he spoke, though, Lack listed RT as a challenge in the same
breath as terror groups like the Islamic State and Boko Haram.
“We are facing a number of challenges from entities like
Russia Today which is out there pushing a point of view, the
Islamic State in the Middle East and groups like Boko
Haram,” he said. “But I firmly believe that this agency
has a role to play in facing those challenges.”