Andy Lack Is Leaving NBC News, Telemundo Chief Cesar Conde Becomes NBCUniversal News Group Chairman

By A.J. Katz 

Today had been a relatively quiet day on the television news front.

That officially ended at 3:15 p.m. ET.

NBCUniversal announced a new organizational structure for the company today, and it includes NBCUniversal International Group and NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises chairman Cesar Conde moving into the role of chairman of NBCUniversal News Group, an organization which now includes NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC.

“Cesar is a well-respected, strategic leader who has succeeded in multiple roles at NBCUniversal since joining the company in 2013,” NBCUniversal chairman Jeff Shell said in a statement. “Most recently, Cesar has overseen unprecedented growth at Telemundo, which under his leadership has become the number one Spanish-language network, and through its news division has played a critical role in the expansion of news operations, breaking news coverage and trailblazing political reporting.  Cesar’s valuable and relevant experience leading broadcast networks and news divisions, combined with his high degree of integrity and proven management skills, make him the right person to lead our news group into the future.”

A new leader of Telemundo Enterprises, replacing Conde, will be announced later. One would think Telemundo evp and cmo Monica Gil would be at the top of the list.

So, what does Conde’s new role mean for the other high-ranking NBC Newsers?

NBC News Group chairman Andy Lack is stepping down, and will transition out of the company at the end of the month.

With Lack leaving, NBC News president Noah Oppenheim, MSNBC president Phil Griffin, and CNBC chairman Mark Hoffman will all report to Conde. Hoffman had not previously reported to Lack, but instead directly to the NBCUniversal CEO (who had been Steve Burke, before Shell took over earlier this year).

Lack’s contract was set to lapse at the end of the year, and it was widely assumed that Oppenheim would replace him after the 2020 election.

That scenario obviously did not come to fruition. Conde will now be in charge of all news operations.

The new structure at NBCU, which is effective immediately, closely aligns NBCUniversal’s television networks – including NBC Entertainment, Telemundo, the cable entertainment networks (USA, SYFY, Bravo, Oxygen, E!, Universal Kids), International Networks as well as the new streaming service, Peacock, under one division led by Mark Lazarus, who now becomes chairman, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. Lazarus will also continue to oversee the NBC Sports Group, owned television stations, and affiliate relations.

Conde and Lazarus will report directly to Shell.

According to Adweek TV editor Jason Lynch, this is Shell’s first big move since taking over as NBCUniversal CEO in January, succeeding Burke, who transitioned to chairman and will leave the company in August.