Patricia Fili-Krushel, the veteran media-industry executive whose tenure spearheading NBCUniversal’s news operations was tangled in the chaos surrounding anchor Brian Williams’ prevarications about his past reporting, is expected to leave the entertainment giant.
In an interview with New York, Fili-Krushel said she and NBCU Steve Burke “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.”
NBCU executives were not immediately available for comment.
Krushel, who has enjoyed stints over the years at HBO, ABC and Time Warner, and was chief executive for a time at WebMD, was given oversight of all of NBCU’s news operations in 2011. During her tenure, many of the company’s flagship news craft began to list: MSNBC and CNBC have suffered ratings declines, and two of NBC News’ best known programs, “Meet the Press” and “Today,” were outmanned by the competition.
The Williams episode, which came to light early in 2015, threatened to undermine the one news program at NBC that soundly dominated its competitors: NBC Nightly News. Williams acknowledged he had embellished a tale of a past news excursion to Iraq, falsely claiming he had flown in a helicopter that came under enemy fire.
NBCU replaced Fili-Krushel with Andy Lack, a former top NBC executive who once led NBC News, earlier this year. Fili-Krushel was given an executive vice president role at NBCU with no formal portfolio or oversight.
During her time at the helm, Fili-Krushel hired Deborah Turness as president of NBC News, making her the first woman to hold the position.
Ironically, both “Today” and “Meet the Press” have fared better in the ratings as of late, and “NBC Nightly News” is back on top of the ratings with a new anchor, Lester Holt, at the helm. Some of the credit has to go to work done by Turness during Fili-Krushel’s tenure. Under Fili-Krushel’s aegis, NBC News also began to invest in new technologies that help it to distribute content for audiences eager to get access to information and video via mobile and digital means.
Fili-Krushel told New York she expected her last day with NBCU to be November 1. “It was a mad five years,” she told the publication. “I just feel like I need some time.”