You think Warren Littlefield has had a rough term as NBC Entertainment president sinking into third place, losing Cosby, Cheers, and Letterman? Try wearing the trademark bow tie of NBC News president Michael Gartner. He presided over Today's Jane Pauley-Deborah Norville imbroglio in 1989, and the screwups just keep on coming.
APRIL 1991: NBC Nightly News comes under fire after Gartner decides to broadcast the name and photo of William Kennedy Smith rape-case plaintiff Patricia Bowman without her consent. Less than a year later, NBC also names Desiree Washington, the victim in the Mike Tyson rape case.
DECEMBER 1991: The family of USS Iowa crew member Clayton Hartwig files a $10 million lawsuit against NBC News for a report based on Navy leaks that portrayed the late sailor as a suicidal homosexual who caused the fatal 1989 explosion aboard the Iowa.
DECEMBER 1991: NBC is the only major network whose news division fails to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Pearl Harbor with a prime-time special. Instead, the network reruns the 1978 ABC miniseries Pearl, starring Angie Dickinson.
AUGUST 1992: Embroiled in a contract dispute, Arthur Kent refuses to go to war-torn Croatia and calls his bosses ''s---heads.'' He's later fired.
SEPTEMBER 1992: The critically reviled I Witness Video produced by NBC News joins the network's prime-time lineup. ''I'm proud of the show,'' Gartner says of the series, which specializes in sordid footage of violent crimes and disasters.
DECEMBER 1992: Dateline NBC scores its best ratings ever with an exclusive Amy Fisher interview just days before the TV movie Amy Fisher: My Story airs on the network. NBC News says the scheduling was just a coincidence.
JANUARY 1993: NBC Nightly News airs a graphic video of a murder in a Florida cemetery, which the other networks decline.