NBC News Chief: MSNBC ‘Would Have Been Clobbered’ If We Didn’t Make Breaking News Pivot


msnbc-logo-1-300x196NBC News Chief Andy Lack got rather candid about recent changes at MSNBC in an interview this week with The Daily Beast.

Throughout 2015, a bunch of MSNBC daytime opinionated programming has been axed in favor of straight news coverage. Bringing Brian Williams in allowed them to have more of a breaking news focus.

Lack explained, “Had we not made this turn to breaking news with seriousness of purpose, in these times and in this election, we would have been clobbered. As reasonable as that programming was for when it was created, we’re in a long game now.”

He defended Chris Hayes amid reports of concerns about his dismal ratings performance against Bill O’Reilly and Anderson Cooper. Lack praised Hayes and said he does a good show.

And what of Donald Trump? MSNBC recently ran a Trump documentary, and Lack has no problem admitting he thinks Trump’s “a helluva story.” He argued, “Donald Trump is leading our news coverage, and everybody else’s, because Donald Trump has cut a path through the Republican Party that is profound right now.”

But arguably the biggest issue facing the NBC News family going into 2016 is the fact that after CNBC’s widely-panned Republican debate, the RNC suspended its partnership with NBC for a February debate.

Lack isn’t worried, telling The Daily Beast CNBC has nothing to do with NBC News and it’ll probably all work out:

“I think it’s going to happen. We’ve had a couple of conversations,” Lack said. The CNBC debate “had nothing to do with anybody at NBC News,” he added, “and we felt badly about the situation. CNBC is not part of NBC News… Shit happens.”

You can read the full interview here.

[image via screengrab]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: josh@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac