U.S. government-supported international media now has its first CEO in place. Andy Lack has been sworn in as the chief executive officer and director of the Broadcasting Board of Governors.
Lack is former chairman of the Bloomberg Media Group, which he joined in 2008. His planned appointment was announced earlier after a search process.
Observers of BBG, including its reform-minded critics, legislators and vocal internal constituencies, will be watching keenly to see what kind of management style the veteran media executive and journalist brings.
Lack is former chairman/CEO of Sony Music Entertainment; former president and chief operating officer of NBC; and former president of NBC News. He came to NBC after many years with CBS News.
BBG is the federal agency that oversees the networks and broadcasting operations of U.S. international media: Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio and TV Martí, Radio Free Asia and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks.
Lack was quoted in a BBG statement: “We are at a unique time in the extraordinary history of this agency. The 21st century’s global war on information is increasingly threatening to our country and our values. I am lucky to join a great group of journalists and news professionals spread across the globe who care so deeply about our critical role in that battle.”
He was sworn in by Jeff Shell, chairman of the BBG, who praised Lack as “an experienced media executive, a respected journalist and an energetic and inspirational leader.” Shell and Lack are shown in a photo from BBG.
Legislation to reform U.S. broadcasting efforts overseas passed the House last year but has not progressed. That bill would reduce the role of the BBG and create an entity called the U.S. International Communications Agency.