This article originally appeared in Politico:
When Comcast acquired NBCUniversal in 2011, Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts called NBC News “the crown jewel” of his new empire. With good reason: At the time, the news division was dominant on all fronts. ‘Today’ was number-one in the morning, ‘Nightly News’ was number-one at night, and ‘Meet The Press’ was number-one on Sunday.
In four short years, Comcast’s “crown jewel” has been tarnished. Not only have ‘Today’ and ‘Meet’ both fallen from first place, their falls have been accompanied by the excruciating public humiliation of the programs’ top talent. Ann Curry, the former Today co-host, was privately undermined and publicly humiliated before being kicked off the show in 2012. David Gregory, the former moderator of ‘Meet The Press’, was hung out to dry for over a year before being booted in 2014.
Now, Brian Williams is the subject of an internal investigation into his false claim that he was on-board a Chinook helicopter that was hit by an RPG in Iraq. The Williams controversy has been made worse by the fact that he appears to have continued misleading viewers even as he apologized for his initial error. Meanwhile, ‘Nightly News’ has been losing ground to ABC’s ‘World News Tonight,’ which is now outperforming ‘Nightly’ in the coveted 25-to-54 demo.
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