More light has been shed on the inside operations of NBC News after a Vanity Fair article interviewed past and present NBC executives, in the wake of the on-air lie news anchor Brian Williams told that got him suspended.
One of the many facets of this story is Williams’ rise to power at NBC News, following the death of Tim Russert. The longtime anchor reportedly wasn’t fond of Williams’ lack of interest in politics and world events.
After Russert’s death in 2008, Williams ran wild driving away investigative correspondents Michael Isikoff and Lisa Myers due to his lack of interest in their work, according to sources. An insider had this to say:
“There is NBC News before Tim died and after Tim died. Tim was our soul, our conscience├óΓé¼┬ªWhen Tim died, and Brian pushed out John Reiss, there was no one who could influence Brian in a significant way, who could say, ├óΓé¼╦£G*ddammit, Brian, you have to do this.’ “
Another piece of the puzzle was that reportedly NBC News Chief Deborah Turness didn’t “have a f*cking clue” on how to run the beast that is NBC News. The News President had been reportedly “letting the inmates run the asylum,” perhaps being too lenient on Williams and proving herself a non-threat to the anchor.
Though, a former top NBC executive explained that Turness was overmatched from day one, and points the blame at NBC’s parent company, Comcast:
“Look. Deborah Turness: I have seen no evidence she knows what she’s doing, but in fairness, she walked into a complete sh*tstorm there. Today is a horror show. Brian Williams? He didn’t give a rat’s ass what Deborah Turness says. But this is fundamentally not a Deborah Turness problem. She’s just a symptom of the problem…This is a Comcast problem.”
After the network’s previous owner General Electric was hit by the financial downturn in 2009, NBC was sold to Comcast — a company that “didn’t believe in talent management” according to another former executive.
Now that more insight has been uncovered as to was going on behind the scenes at NBC News, it’s easier to understand what happened.
It seems as if over the years, Williams was granted perhaps too much flexibility while no one was there to reel him back in. We hope NBC News takes this issue as a chance to improve their operations!
[Image via Brian To/WENN.]