NBC News chairman Andy Lack, who one week ago promised a review of the circumstances that led to Matt Lauer’s shocking termination, said Friday in an internal update that the company has initiated interviews with staffers as part of the probe.
The initial interview list contains roughly 40 employees, and Lack said “that number will expand as more is learned through the process.” The interviews will continue “for several more weeks,” he said in a memo, which was provided to The Hollywood Reporter.
The goal of the review is “to determine why this was able to happen, why it wasn’t reported sooner, and what we can do to make employees feel more empowered to report unacceptable behavior,” Lack said.
The company is also conducting a culture assessment. “Groups of roughly 8-10 employees will gather, with a NBCU facilitator, for focus group meetings to solicit anonymous feedback on how you feel about your work environment, whether you are comfortable raising concerns and know all the ways available to do so, and what might prevent employees from coming forward,” Lack said.
“The assessment will also look at the questions, did the culture here change over time, and if so how?” he continued. “A diverse cross-section of employees at various levels of the News organization will be selected to participate, but each session will consist only of employees at similar levels of seniority — so it can be a discussion among peers.”
Lack reported that nearly 60 team meetings have been held since Lauer’s termination to explain the actions the company is taking.
The exec also announced that in-person harassment prevention training, conducted by an outside company, will be mandatory for all staffers.