On the heels of two new news stories with damning information about two of the most-well known NBC News anchors of all time, news division chairman Andy Lack reaffirmed the network’s commitment to creating “a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected.”
In the note to staffers, Lack acknowledged the claims made by former NBC News correspondent Linda Vester against then-Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw in 1994. At the time, Lack had been president of NBC News for one year. “Tom emphatically denies,” the charges, Lack wrote.
He went on to write that the internal review of allegations against Matt Lauer–including two new claims revealed in a Washington Post story today–“is nearing its conclusion, and we will have findings and further steps to share with you as soon as next week.”
Here’s Lack’s note:
As you have all seen now in reports from last night, there are allegations against Tom Brokaw, made by a former NBC News journalist, which Tom emphatically denies. As we’ve shown, we take allegations such as these very seriously, and act on them quickly and decisively when the facts dictate.
The same report included claims against Matt Lauer. As you know, since the week we terminated Matt’s employment, NBC Universal has been conducting a review, led by general counsel Kim Harris–who has extensive experience in conducting reviews of this kind–with a team of legal and HR leaders. Kim has advised us that the review is nearing its conclusion, and we will have findings and further steps to share with you as soon as next week.
In addition to the review–which has included interviews with employees who worked on TODAY and elsewhere in NBC News, and a substantial culture assessment conducted with hundreds of employees–we also have been running mandatory in-person workplace training sessions. Thus far, 1600 employees have been trained, and the feedback from those sessions has been overwhelmingly positive. We expect to have all 2,000 of our employees trained by end of summer.
If you are one of the many who has participated in interviews, the culture assessment sessions and/or the workplace training sessions, thank you. Your participation, feedback and insights are crucial to this process, as we move forward as an organization.
And as we have done regularly over the last few months, and will continue to do frequently, we want to remind you that we encourage all employees to speak up and raise any concerns you have about inappropriate conduct you have experienced or observed. There are multiple avenues available that we have shared with you before, you can also find the details on the intranet NBCNow.
Once again, our highest priority is to ensure we have a workplace environment where everyone feels safe and protected. We are absolutely committed to making this a reality–there can be no exception.