Nancy Snyderman to Leave NBC News in Wake of Ebola Incident

JEMAL COUNTESS/WIREIMAGE
JEMAL COUNTESS/WIREIMAGE

Dr. Nancy Snyderman, the veteran TV-news medical correspondent who was caught violating the terms of a self-imposed quarantine after being potentially exposed to the Ebola virus last year,  said she would step down from her job at NBC News.

“Covering the Ebola epidemic last fall in Liberia, and then becoming part of the story upon my return to the U.S., contributed to my decision that now is the time to return to academic medicine,” Snyderman said in a statement provided by NBC News.

Snyderman, NBC News’ chief medical correspondent, has been back on the air since December. She took a break from NBC News after she was spotted in New Jersey in October violating the terms of a self-imposed quarantine, a precaution she and other staffers took after an NBC News freelance cameraman contracted the disease while Snyderman and a team were covering its outbreak in Liberia.

Her departure comes as the result of a mutual decision between the journalist and NBC News executives, according to a person familiar with the matter. This person characterized the relationship between Snyderman and NBC News as having grown strained since her return to the network.

Snyderman indicated she would be moving to “a faculty position at a major U.S. medical school” and would work “to communicate medicine and science to our viewers and citizens, especially in times of crisis.”

Snyderman, a trained pediatrician and a practicing surgeon, has had an impressive career as both a physician and a medical correspondent. For 15 years, she reported on health for ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Both her father and grandfather practiced medicine, according to a biography of Snyderman posted by the U.S. National Library of Medicine.  She received her M.D. in 1977, and grew interested in broadcasting while pursuing her residency.

Upon returning to “Today” after her break following the Ebola incident, Snyderman told Matt Lauer on “Today” that “good people can make mistakes,” adding, “I stepped outside the boundaries of what I promised to do and what the public expected of me, and for that I’m sorry.”

She leaves as NBC News is in the midst of transition. Andrew Lack, a former senior NBC News executive, has been hired to guide the unit forward after the recent disclosure that “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams falsified an account about a reporting excursion to Iraq in 2003. He is in the midst of  a six-month suspension.

SOURCE: Variety – Brian Steinberg

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