NBC News chairman Cesar Conde has newly-revealed ongoing business ties that are raising eyebrows.
Conde, who took over as the boss of the Peacock Network’s news division in May 2020, is on the board of directors for both Walmart and Pepsi, as first reported in the Wall Street Journal as a glaring revelation in a broader report about the broader direction NBC News is heading.
Critics took to social media and called the arrangement “inappropriate” and sounded the alarm on the potential “conflict of interest.”
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When reached out by Fox News for comment, an NBC News spokesperson pointed to the statement that was provided to WSJ, which was that Conde would “recuse” himself from weighing in on stories involving both companies.
Cesar Conde, President of Univision Networks, speaks at a ceremony opening new newsroom facilities in Doral, Florida August 28, 2013. Spanish language behemoth Univision is ramping up its new English cable news network Fusion aimed at younger viewers, hiring hundreds of staffers and building a flashy newsroom as it prepares to enter the crowded field of cable news channels. REUTERS/Joe Skipper (UNITED STATES – Tags: MEDIA BUSINESS)
NBC News has run stories on its website offering a more favorable view of the big box store with headlines in February reading, “Walmart to hike wages for 425,000 workers to average above $15 an hour” and “Walmart steps up to vaccine fight in small town America.”
Additionally, NBC’s “Today” has repeatedly put a spotlight on new flavors released by Pepsi including “Apple Pie” Pepsi in November, “Cocoa” Pepsi in December,” and most recently, the Peeps-flavored Pepsi in March.
Conde, who previously served as the chairman of Telemundo, was tapped as chairman of NBCUniversal News Group following the sudden departure of Andy Lack.
Lack managed to keep his job amid a laundry list of controversies, including a public feud with Ronan Farrow over the network’s handling of his Harvey Weinstein reporting.
Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report.