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ESPN’s Jamie Horowitz To Take Charge Of NBC’s ‘Today’ Franchise

By | Wednesday May 7, 2014 @ 1:10pm PDT

today-show__130820101116-275x177NBC News President Deborah Turness has tapped ESPN‘s Jamie Horowitz to become SVP and GM of Today. Horowitz, who is VP Original Programming and Production at ESPN, will start the NBC gig later this year. Reporting to Turness, he will lead the morning infotainment program’s brand, with NBC saying he will be tasked with driving “greater integration and growth among all parts of the brand, on all platforms — including the four hours of live television every weekday, weekend Today, Today.com, and the Plaza experience.” He also will explore new formats, such as extensions in digital, e-commerce, events and other opportunities. Today Executive Producer Don Nash will report to Horowitz,  as will weekend EP Dee Dee Thomas and Today.com director Jen Brown.

Jamie HorowitzAt ESPN, Horowitz oversaw a number of successful shows including First Take, Olbermann, Numbers Never Lie, SportsNation and its Sports Emmy-nominated World Series of Poker programming. Before joining ESPN in 2006, Horowitz worked at NBC Sports, where he won four Sports Emmys for his work on NBC Olympics coverage and the NBA on NBC. He began his career in television as an NBC Olympics researcher for the 2000 Sydney Games. Read More »

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NBC News’ Chris Jansing Named Senior White House Correspondent, Peter Alexander Named National Correspondent

By | Friday May 2, 2014 @ 2:03pm PDT

nbcnews logoNBC News today named Chris Jansing as Senior White House Correspondent. Peter Alexander was named National Correspondent. Jansing will report primarily for NBC Nightly News,  providing day-to-day coverage of the Obama administration and White House politics. Alexander will report not only on the White House but also on national affairs beyond Washington DC.  Jansing will return to NBC News full time next month, relocating from New York to join Todd, Alexander, and Kristen Welker in the unit. MSNBC said it will announce Jansing’s replacement in the coming weeks.
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NBC News Chief: Reports About ‘Meet The Press’ Host David Gregory “Ludicrous” And “Vindictive”

By | Thursday April 24, 2014 @ 1:35pm PDT

gregoryNBC News chief Deborah Turness sent a memo to her staff today today, dismissing as “quite ludicrous,” “vindictive” and “untrue, ” the press coverage of a news report about a consulting firm hired to help fix ratings on NBC’s Sunday Beltway show. “I wanted to reach out to reiterate my support for the show and for [show host] David [Gregory], now and into the future, as we work together to evolve the format,” she wrote in her memo (see entire memo below).

The Washington Post wrote Monday that NBC had hired a “psychological consultant” to look at Gregory, including interviews with his friends and his wife. The reaction in the media is what is known in journalism circles as Pirahna Discovering Raw Meat. A frenzy of NBC Hires Psychologist to Evaluate David Gregory, and NBC Thinks David Gregory Requires Psychiatric Help press reports ensued. Columnists mulled why Gregory was so hated; Cenk Uygur (aka The Guy Formerly Let Go By NBC) gleefully advised Gregory, “Dude, read the writing on the wall, you’re a goner”; websites ruminated on the death of the Sunday Beltway shows; Rush Limbaugh clucked that NBC should perform psychological tests on its execs rather than on Gregory, and a good time was had by all.

Though NBC News has said it did not dispute the Post’s use of “psychological consultant” at the time, it subsequently issued a statement saying,  “Last year Meet The Press brought in a brand consultant — not, as reported, a psychological one — to better understand how its anchor connects. This is certainly not unusual for any television program, especially one that’s driven so heavily by one person.” The company — New York-based Elastic Strategy — was hired by NBC News’ marketing team a year ago, before Turness was named NBC News chief. On its Web site, that firm says its “expertise is in gaining an objective understanding of the current and potential value of your brand to its various stakeholders.”

Meet The Press is ranked No. 3 among the Sunday Beltway shows, with a season-do-date average of 2.933 million viewers — behind CBS’s Face The Nation (3.320 million) and ABC’s This Week (3.007 million). In the news demo, MTP (849,000) also trails Face The Nation (949,000) and This Week (874,000). MPT used to be No. 1 in the ratings and held on to that spot for many years, back when it was hosted by Tim Russert, who died at  the studio in summer of ’08. Tom Brokaw took over for Russert and anchored the program through the presidential election cycle, after which Gregory — NBC News’ chief White House correspondent — was named Russert’s replacement in December of that year.

Read the memo here:
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NBC News Unveils New Guest Booking Unit

By | Friday April 4, 2014 @ 12:50pm PDT

Deborah Turness NBC News chief Deborah Turness today officially announced that streamlined booking has come to the division. NBC has been working for months to streamline guest booking across its various programs — news and entertainment. Here’s Turness’ memo about the new unit: Read More »

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NBC News Names Bill Neely Chief Global Correspondent

By | Monday November 25, 2013 @ 9:33am PST

NBC News this morning named ITV News’ international editor Bill Neely as its new Chief Global Correspondent, based in London. The hire reunites Neely with NBC News president Deborah Turness, who was formerly editor of ITV News from ’04-13. You’ve already seen Neely appear with some regularity on NBC News, through the news division’s partnership with ITN. Neely, who has spent more than two decades with ITV, will cover major international news and events for all of NBC News’ broadcasts and digital platforms. Neely previously served as ITV News Washington Correspondent for six years, covering five of the last six presidential elections, as well as the Oklahoma City bombings, the Atlanta Olympics, and superstorm Sandy. Read More »

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It’s Official: ITV’s Deborah Turness New President Of NBC News

By | Monday May 20, 2013 @ 7:24am PDT

NEW YORK — May 20, 2013 — Deborah Turness, former editor of ITV News, the United Kingdom’s most-watched commercial network news service, has been named President of NBC News. It was announced today by Pat Fili-Krushel, Chairman, NBCUniversal News Group.

Turness joins CNBC President Mark Hoffman and MSNBC President Phil Griffin as part of the NBCUniversal News Group leadership team reporting to Fili-Krushel. She will be based at the NBC News headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Plaza and begin her new role on August 5.

As President, Turness will be responsible for all aspects of the NBC News division including the programs “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams,” “Today,” “Meet the Press,” and “Dateline” as well as its news bureaus around the world. She will also oversee all breaking news, investigative and enterprise reporting, along with the division’s digital properties including NBCNews.com. Additionally, she will have oversight of Peacock Productions, an award-winning in-house production company.

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ITV’s Deborah Turness To Be Named President Of NBC News

By | Friday May 10, 2013 @ 8:21am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

It looks like NBC will be handing its venerable news division to a Brit. Deborah Turness, the editor of ITV News, is expected to become the first female president of NBC News, replacing Steve Capus. Turness has led ITV News since 2004 and has a penchant for pushing the envelope. (She once put a young female anchor in a very short skirt reading the news perched on a desk). Chatter about Turness’ imminent hire intensified over the past 24 hours, with reports starting to pop up in the British press.

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