NBC News President Could Lose Position After Williams Fiasco

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Mar 04, 2015 8:05 PM
NBC News President Could Lose Position After Williams Fiasco

We go a little into the rumor mill on this one, but it seems NBC News isn’t really out of damage control yet after the Brian Williams fiasco. Williams has been given a six-month suspension after reports revealed his story about being shot down while riding in a Chinook helicopter in Iraq was a work of fiction. The authenticity of other field reports he’s filed, like in New Orleans post-Katrina and Lebanon during Israel’s 2006 incursion, is being called into question as well.

With Williams gone (temporarily), NBC News president Deborah Turness, who was already fearful of losing her job, might be on her way out of the president’s chair, though Variety  is reporting she'll probably remain employed with the embattled network in some other capacity:

Former NBC News president Andrew Lack is in negotiations to return to a top post at NBC Universal’s news division in a management shakeup following the debacle that led to the suspension of “Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams and other recent missteps.

A source close to the situation emphasized that Deborah Turness, NBC News president, is also staying with the company, though her role may change. Turness has been under fire for the division’s response to the controversy that erupted over Williams’ misleading statements on “NBC Nightly News” about his experiences will covering the Iraq war in 2003. The incident led to the anchor being suspended for six months without pay last month.

Turness took the helm at NBC News in 2013 after leaving the UK-based ITV network, where she has served as editor since 2004.

Could this be some version of a woman in a position of power falling off the "glass cliff"?  It remains to be seen, but a notable exception is that NBC News wasn't a mess (biased, yes) at the time of Williams' collapse. It was the most-watched evening news broadcast in the country.  Typically, the "glass cliff" that revolves around a woman being ushered into a position of leadership–usually in business–after some awful situation has caused a PR nightmare.  If no quick fix can be obtained, she's shown the door. 

That doesn't seem to be the case here, but I'm sure you'll see some lefty feminist criticize the network for replacing a woman with a man as president even though it was a man–Williams–who put the entire network in a vise.  Let's see how this pans out, especially since many are reporting that it's unlikely that Williams will return.    

If so, this move, along with Williams' six-month delay in being told he's been let go, is just an awkward way of keeping your network accountable.  Then again, we're talking about the liberal media.  They could be just hoping that we all might forget, like the story surrounding Hillary Clinton's use of her personal email for official business when she was Secretary of State.