As Brian Williams returns from embellishment exile and David Gregory speaks out, another central character in the NBC News drama is exiting the stage: former NBC News chairwoman Patricia Fili-Krushel. According to sources, Fili-Krushel is finalizing a deal with NBC Universal CEO Steve Burke to leave the media company. “We couldn’t come up with a position that made sense for what I’m interested in doing, so we said maybe it’s time we part ways,” Fili-Krushel told me when I reached her this afternoon.
In 2012, Burke appointed her to oversee NBC’s news assets, including NBC News, MSNBC, and CNBC. She was tasked with bringing stability to a news organization that was beset by staff infighting; and she succeeded in recruiting Deborah Turness to become the first female network-news president. “I feel really good about what we accomplished,” she told me. But she wasn’t able to stop the talent feuds and the ratings slide at NBC’s marquee news franchises: Meet the Press, Nightly News, and Today. In March, Burke removed Fili-Krushel from news and brought in former NBC News president Andy Lack as her replacement.
Since then she’s been reporting to Burke in a loosely defined corporate role. Her last day will be November 1. “It was a mad five years. I just feel like I need some time,” she said.