“The Inside Story of the Civil War for the Soul of NBC News”

“the financial crisis prompted General Electric to streamline its far-flung businesses, a strategy that included selling NBCUniversal to Comcast. NBC News executives had been close to G.E. executives, including C.E.O. Jack Welch, but they soon developed a strong sense that Comcast’s top executives, Brian Roberts and Steve Burke, didn’t value the art of talent management quite so highly.
“I always thought they lacked an appreciation for dealing with talent,” says a former NBC executive who worked with Comcast executives during the transition. “Remember: They come from a cable utility company, where all you do is keep your customers happy and collect the bills at the end of the month. To be honest, you got the sense they couldn’t fathom why NBC worried so much about the talent; you know, ‘Why are these people worrying so much about what Matt Lauer thinks?’ ”…
NBC News before Tim died and after Tim died,” says the recently departed correspondent. “Tim was our soul, our conscience…. When Tim died, and Brian pushed out John Reiss, there was no one who could influence Brian in a significant way, who could say, ‘Goddammit, Brian, you have to do this.’ ”
In the years that followed, NBC’s two best-known investigative correspondents, Michael Isikoff and Lisa Myers, both left the network, in large part, insiders say, because Williams had little interest in their work. “By 2007, 2008, Brian was starting to feel his oats a bit,” says a onetime NBC executive who knows him well. “It was a bit of a challenge, not huge. Manageable. He was more reluctant to go on difficult assignments. He didn’t want to leave New York. Getting him to war zones was real tough … but when he did go, he came back with these great stories that kind of put himself at the center of things. Then the Comcast crew arrived and everything began to change.””

Weird, some of the undertones in 30 Rock were real things.

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