Andy Lack: ‘I Never Thought I’d See the Day When We Were Ahead of ESPN’

By A.J. Katz Comment

NBC News chairman Andy Lack addressed staffers during an employee town hall event today at 30 Rock, and the mood was reportedly quite upbeat.

At one point, Lack sang the praises of MSNBC, saying “We’ve tripled our audience in the last four years. So that takes us to be number 2 in all of cable, not just cable news,” he said, before adding, “I never thought I’d see the day when we were ahead of ESPN…Being able to bring that many viewers – more [new] viewers than CNN and Fox News combined in the last four years – that really is an extraordinary achievement.”

Lack added that news organizations like CBS and ABC “don’t have this iron horse called MSNBC.”

Additionally, the NBC News chairman announced that NBC News and MSNBC received a combined 14 Emmy nominations, up from nine last year. “That would include MSNBC, Dateline specials, Nightly, Meet the Press, Today, Digital, and a documentary called Hope & Fury.”

Lack also brought up the network’s new Washington D.C. digs.

The network is moving its Washington bureau to 400 N. Capitol, with Lack noting that the goal is for the more than 350 Washington DC-area employees to be located at the new bureau in time for Super Tuesday 2020.

“Moving from NBC News’ historic Nebraska Avenue location to North Capitol allows us to brand ourselves in Washington in ways we’ve never done before,” Lack told the team.

400 N. Capitol will be the new home for Meet the Press and all of MSNBC’s Washington-based programs with the capability to increase to six or more total shows anchored out of D.C. during the election year.

The network will have a presence on five floors in the building, floor-to-ceiling studio windows on the first floor with views of Capitol Hill that will create a 30 Rock Plaza feel in Washington.