(HOLLYWOOD REPORTER) — Andrew Lack doesn't officially start his new job as chairman of NBC News and MSNBC until April 6. But the returning leader has been a regular presence at the company's 30 Rock headquarters, where he's been holding long meetings with the news division's senior vps, talent and producers. And sources say he's already indicated his first projects will be devising a plan to reverse the ratings slide at MSNBC and determining the fate of Brian Williams, the Nightly News anchor who is nearly two months into a six-month suspension for fibbing about his time in Iraq.
The tide among the rank and file at NBC News is against reinstating Williams. And there is a concern among executives at NBCUniversal about the optics of pushing Lester Holt out of the anchor chair he has occupied since the scandal broke in early February. Lack, 67, is known to have a friendship with Williams, and he had been advising NBCU CEO Steve Burke about how to handle the scandal. But as one source puts it: "This is a big decision. This is not a decision based on friendship."