Ben DiPietro, The Wall Street Journal’s Risk and Compliance Journal, February 17, 2015
NBC News, anchorman Brian Williams and NBC parent company Comcast Corp. are the subject of this week’s crisis. Mr. Williams first removed himself from the network’s nightly newscast–and later was suspended without pay for six months–following his admission he may have “misremembered” whether a helicopter he was flying in during a reporting trip to Iraq was attacked by missile fire. The resulting criticism prompted the network to launch an internal investigation, still ongoing.
The experts were asked to evaluate both the statements of NBC and Mr. Williams. How effective was each in handling the crisis? Where did their statements fall short? What did they do well? What should they each do next?
Davia Temin, chief executive, Temin & Co.: “NBC/Comcast was swift and perfectly on-point in their crisis response to Williams’ admission of lying. [NBCUniversal Chief Executive] Stephen Burke’s comments were textbook, and the six-month suspension without pay and Williams’ name taken off the program have demonstrated that NBC shares the public’s sense of outrage. This is only mitigated by the possibility that they knew of the lie beforehand.” […read more]