Cesar Conde, who heads up the Spanish-language network Telemundo and NBC’s businesses outside North America, is now in charge of the news assets.
Lack was notified of Conde’s promotion on Monday, according to an executive familiar with the matter.
The change took effect immediately, so Lack’s tenure atop NBC News came to a rather sudden end.
He was not immediately reachable for comment.
Five years later, “Today,” “Nightly News” and the cable channel are on significantly more solid ground. NBC News and MSNBC are profitable and popular enterprises.
But as controversies multiplied during the Lack era, so did questions about his leadership.
Questions dogged Lack and other NBC executives after Ronan Farrow’s effort to report on Harvey Weinstein was shut down in 2017.
In Farrow’s book “Catch and Kill,” he called it a “corporate coverup” and made the case that something nefarious happened — perhaps a secret agreement between Weinstein and NBC. And Farrow portrayed the news division as a boy’s club where harassment was covered up and women were paid off.
Lack said Farrow painted a “fundamentally untrue picture” of the news division.
Corporate management stood by Lack and NBC News president Noah Oppenheim, but the Weinstein coverage decisions in 2017 had ripple effects for years.
Farrow tweeted on Monday: “Andrew Lack is stepping down, after public protests calling for leadership change and a unionization effort within the company demanding more transparency about harassment issues there. Grateful to the sources who spoke.”
Other controversial decisions during Lack’s tenure included the hiring and then the removal of morning host Megyn Kelly.
NBC’s press release on Monday said that Lack “has decided to step down and will transition out of the company at the end of the month.”
Shell has been moving quickly to re-shape parts of the sprawling Comcast-owned media company. On Monday he also announced a promotion for Mark Lazarus, who will now be chairman of NBCUniversal television and streaming.
Shell’s arrival as CEO in January evidently shortened Lack’s tenure.
Lack, 72, was planning to retire after the 2020 election season, according to colleagues at NBC. Oppenheim was in line to succeed him as chairman of NBCUniversal News Group.
But that plan was established when Burke was CEO. Shell had something else in mind.
Monday’s announcement indicated that Oppenheim will continue as president of NBC News, reporting to Conde. No immediate replacement for Conde was announced at Telemundo.
The business news channel CNBC previously operated in its own silo, apart from NBCUniversal News Group, but now that’s changing: CNBC is being folded into Conde’s portfolio. CNBC president Mark Hoffman will report to Conde.