NBC News Probe Absolves Network Executives in Matt Lauer Scandal
(Bloomberg) -- NBC News said it has found no evidence that its leadership received complaints about sexual misconduct involving Matt Lauer, at least until a female employee reported the former “Today” show co-host to human resources in November.
The Comcast Corp.-owned news division released a seven-page report Wednesday detailing the findings of an internal investigation that included nearly 70 interviews. The results could help put to rest months of turmoil at NBC.
One of Lauer’s accusers claimed that he sexually assaulted her in his office in 2001, the New York Times has reported. NBC says no such allegations ever reached network executives.
“All four women who came forward confirmed that they did not tell their direct manager or anyone else in a position of authority about their sexual encounters with Lauer,” the report said.
The investigation was led by Kim Harris, NBCUniversal’s general counsel. NBC said it consulted with two outside law firms during the probe.
Lauer, 60, was fired in November after the accusation of sexual misconduct surfaced, stripping the broadcast network of one of its best-known stars. He joined a growing list of famous entertainment personalities caught up in allegations of harassment in recent months.
In a note to staff, NBC News chief Andy Lack outlined several steps that the news division would take to improve its workplace culture, including creating a new outside option to raise concerns about harassment and more in-person training.
NBC’s decision to have the investigation led by its own general counsel drew criticism.
“There needs to be an independent investigation for this to be credible,” Press Forward, a group started by current and former journalists to address harassment, said in a statement. “There is an inherent conflict of interest when management reviews itself.”
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