Andrew Lack was on the job just 40 days.

Andrew Lack was on the job just 40 days. Broadcasting Board of Governors

New Broadcast Board CEO Bails After Just Six Weeks

Andy Lack says he’ll take a job at NBC, blogger reports.

After just 40 days as the first-ever CEO of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, Andrew Lack—a broadcasting veteran who was sworn in at BBG on Jan. 20—has accepted a job at NBC, according to the anonymous blog BBGWatch.

The move, negotiations for which first surfaced in the Hollywood trade publication Variety, is to be confirmed at an all-hands staff meeting on Wednesday, according to multiple employees in touch with BBGWatch.

A BBG spokeswoman on Wednesday confirmed Lack's departure and said Director of Global Operations André Mendes will serve as interim CEO and Director while a search is conducted for Lack’s replacement. 

As recently as Feb. 18, Lack was heralded by BBG Board Chairman Jeffrey Shell as an “icon of the news business” whose arrival made the chairman feel “we’re in a very good place as an agency.”

The BBG, which has suffered from low morale and budget cuts, had spent a year searching for the CEO that its interim management committee long believed was a necessary step toward restructuring. Congress could enact reforms of U.S. international broadcasting, which includes the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa), Radio Free Asia, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Marti).

BBGWatch, run by longtime critic Ted Lipien, raised questions about the development that employees found “stunning.” They include what Lack may have told BBG managers about his negotiations with NBC—a network that in the past few weeks has wrestled with fallout from the misstatements of now-suspended anchor Brian Williams.

“Why would Shell and the BBG conduct a public coronation of Lack at the February 18th board session against a background of any uncertainty about Lack’s determination to stay in the job?” BBGWatch asked. “When did Lack inform Shell about the talks with NBC? Ultimately, what was it that turned around Lack’s enthusiasm? Was he being completely honest regarding how much fire-in-the-belly he had for the CEO job?”

This story was updated with a comment from BBG.