NBC News Chief Andy Lack Pushes Back on Ronan Farrow’s Reporting in Staff Memo


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NBC News chairman Andy Lack sent a memo to network staff on Wednesday pushing back on reporting from Ronan Farrow in his new book, Catch and Kill.

In excerpts and an interview released Wednesday, Farrow revealed a rape allegation against former Today show star Matt Lauer by former NBC employee Brooke Nevils. He also detailed NBC’s alleged efforts to stop his reporting into Harvey Weinstein — reporting Farrow eventually took to the New Yorker.

In a memo to colleagues provided to Mediaite by NBC, Lack called the allegations against Lauer “deeply disturbing.”

“Matt Lauer’s conduct in 2014 was appalling and reprehensible – and of course we said so at the time,” Lack wrote. “The first moment we learned of it was the night of November 27, 2017, and he was fired in 24 hours. Any suggestion that we knew prior to that evening or tried to cover up any aspect of Lauer’s conduct is absolutely false and offensive.”

Lack went on to address the reporting on the Weinstein story.

“It disappoints me to say that even with passage of time, Farrow’s account has become neither more accurate, nor more respectful of the dedicated colleagues he worked with here at NBC News,” Lack wrote. “He uses a variety of tactics to paint a fundamentally untrue picture.”

Lack argued in the memo that NBC News “completely supported” Farrow’s investigation into Weinstein, but that after months the reporter “didn’t have a story that met our standard for broadcast nor that of any major news organization.”

Farrow, in his book, claims Weintein successfully lobbied top brass at NBC — including Lack, NBC News president Noah Oppenheim and MNSBC president Phil Griffin — to kill the Weinstein story. The Hollywood mogul, per Farrow, even boasted about the feat around his offices.

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor in Chief of Mediaite. Send tips via email: aidan@mediaite.com. Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin