NBC says no culture of harassment in its news division
NEW YORK (AP) — NBC's internal investigation after Matt Lauer's firing says it doesn't believe there is a culture of sexual harassment at the news division and that current news executives weren't aware of Lauer's behavior until the complaint that doomed him.
Investigators also said more needs to be done to ensure the more than 2,000 employees at NBC News can talk about bad behavior without fearing retaliation, leading NBC News Chairman Andy Lack to establish a way this can be done outside the company.
But NBC was criticized for not allowing outsiders to look at its practices. While making the report public is a positive step, NBC needed an independent third party to look at its practices to make the findings credible, said the organization Press Forward, made up of women who worked in the news industry who experienced sexual misconduct.
"No one is going to be fully candid when speaking to management for fear of losing their jobs," said Eleanor McManus, a co-founder of Press Forward. "News organizations, journalists and media all hold corporations, governments and individuals to higher standards in similar instances, so it's concerning that NBC would not choose to follow those same standards itself."
NBC Universal's general counsel, Kim Harris, conducted the investigation. Harris' report was primarily concerned with Lauer, and no specific complaints about others were discussed. There was no mention of a former NBC News employee's accusation last month that former "Nightly News" anchor Tom Brokaw made unwanted advances on her, which he has denied.
NBC said the work of its all-female investigative team was reviewed and approved by two outside firms.