Hollywood news banter: Andy Lack out at NBC News, Shanghai Disneyland to reopen

Hosted by

Jeff Shell, the CEO of NBC Universal, has made some leadership changes at NBC. Mark Lazarus, who is currently in charge of NBC Sports Group, is moving up to oversee NBC’s entertainment businesses, which includes the new streaming service Peacock. 

Andy Lack is out as the head of NBC News at the end of May. Ronan Farrow wrote in his book “Catch and Kill” that Lack squashed his Harvey Weinstein reporting at NBC. Lack was also responsible for the hire of Megyn Kelly, which ended up being a financial disaster for the company. 

Cesar Conde, formerly at Telemundo, will oversee all of NBC News, including MSNBC and CNBC. 

Elsewhere in the industry, Disney announced on May 5 that it lost more than $1 billion from the closure of parks and resorts during the coronavirus pandemic. 

To get its parks division back up and running, Shanghai Disneyland is set to reopen on May 11, but with significant rules and restrictions. The park will operate at 25% capacity of visitors, and people must practice social distancing in queues. All guests and employees will have to wear masks, except employees working as characters who have their heads covered.  

Meanwhile, the rest of Hollywood is eager to reopen as soon as possible. Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix, has a recent op-ed in the LA Times about Netflix resuming production in certain countries, including South Korea, Iceland and Norway. He says Netflix is using different safety protocols and procedures in each place. 

Back in the U.S., some limited production is happening in isolation, like a recent socially distanced episode of the CBS series “All Rise.” But making blockbusters with a large cast and crew is still a long way off. 




Kim Masters


Kaitlin Parker