Lack, NBC News boss from 1993-2001, had a string of successes and inherits a boatload of challenges. But his TV colleagues say Lack (who didn’t speak for the article) is never happier than when he’s in a TV newsroom. “I remember being at dinner together when he was at the back end of Sony,” said Discovery CEO David Zaslav. “I looked at him and said, ‘You’ve never been happier than when you were running the news division. There’s a lot of stuff you can do but that’s what you were born to do.'”
“The problems that got NBC News in trouble are almost laughably retro in nature,” said Andrew Heyward, the former president of CBS News, who worked with Mr. Lack in the 1980s. “There is certainly nothing contemporary about the Brian Williams issues or even the ratings decline at MSNBC, or the leadership and ratings issues at ‘Today,’ or the clumsy transition at ‘Meet the Press.’ These are all issues of a nature that he’s confronted before.”
Zaslav and former GE chairman Jack Welch threw Lack a (off the record) surprise party two weeks ago. Welcoming him back to the fold were his boss, NBC CEO Steve Burke, FNC CEO Roger Ailes, SNL ep Lorne Michaels, CNN president Jeff Zucker and Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter.