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NBC News, Arthur Kent Settle Lawsuit over His Firing

March 16, 1994

NEW YORK (AP) _ NBC News and Arthur Kent, the former ″Dateline NBC″ correspondent who filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit over his firing in 1992, announced an out of court settlement Wednesday.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Both parties acknowledged a ″fair and appropriate payment″ to Kent, currently the Toronto-based host of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.’s documentary series ″Man Alive.″

″I did not bring this lawsuit to embarrass NBC News or to profit monetarily,″ Kent said in a telephone news conference. ″I brought it to correct an injustice.″

Kent said he and NBC News President Andrew Lack had reached ″a constructive and dignified settlement of the very unfortunate dispute that has existed between myself and a company I love, NBC News, for some time.″

Lack said he would welcome Kent back to NBC News. ″Arthur and I have decided that we’re going to move forward, rather than move backward,″ Lack said, ″and see if we can do some good work together in the future.″

Intense, soft-spoken and handsome, Kent became famous nationwide during the Gulf War for his rooftop reports during Iraq’s Scud missile attacks on Dharan, Saudi Arabia. He was dubbed ″the Scud stud″ in the popular press.

Kent wouldn’t say whether the settlement included an apology or repudiation of NBC News statements during the dispute, which culminated on Aug. 12, 1992, when he was suspended after refusing an assignment to Zagreb, Croatia.

Although Kent’s star was ascending at NBC after the Gulf War, he did not enjoy a brief stint as guest co-anchor at NBC’s ″Today″ and was grateful when it was curtailed by the first Russian coup attempt.

His career derailed after he was assigned to the fledgling ″Dateline NBC″ magazine. He said NBC News’ then-president, Michael Gartner, and his management team reneged on promises to make him NBC’s senior European correspondent.

Kent said NBC News announced his suspension on the day that ABC News producer David Kaplan was killed in Sarajevo.

Kent earned his reputation as a daring foreign correspondent with forays into Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation, covering the story for NBC from rebel enclaves and with Soviet forces in the field.

He covered China during the Tiananmen Square uprising, Romania during the fall of Ceausescu and Berlin during the fall of the Wall.