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. READ MORE »
NEW YORK –April 30, 2013 — Maria Shriver, the Peabody and Emmy award-winning journalist, producer and best-selling author, joins NBC News as a special anchor reporting on the shifting roles, emerging power and evolving needs of women in modern life.
Through a series of special projects, prime-time reports and appearances across multiple NBCUniversal properties – including NBC News, CNBC, MSNBC and NBC Sports — Shriver will examine the profound impact that women’s rising influence and leadership has had on all aspects of American culture and society.
If you care about news, then the Pew Research Center’s latest annual State Of The News Media report will make you want to cry. Providers across all platforms became “more undermanned and unprepared to uncover stories, dig deep into emerging ones or to question information put into [their] hands,” Pew’s Project for Excellence In Journalism finds. The shortcomings stood out during the election when “campaign reporters were acting primarily as megaphones, rather than as investigators, of the assertions put forward by the candidates and other political partisans.”
Even in a year with an exciting presidential election the collective audience for ABC, CBS and NBC’s evening newscasts fell 2% to 22.1M “resuming the downward trajectory of nearly three decades” after an uptick in 2011. Total audience for local TV newscasts — the nation’s #1 news source – shrank last year in all key time slots except for early morning and across stations aligned with all the networks, resuming a downward trend that seemed to have ended in 2011. Viewing of the evening newscasts that aired between 5:00 and 7:00 PM at the major network affiliates fell 7% last year. One reason: young people are tuning out. About 28% of adults under 30 regularly watched local news last year, down from 42% in 2006. Local news devoted 40% of air time to sports, weather, and traffic, up from 32% in 2005. And just 20% of the stories last year ran at least a minute, down from 31% a decade ago.
Calling journalism “a noble calling,” NBC News president Steve Capus announced to the network’s staff today that he’s leaving after eight years running the division and over 20 years at NBC. Back in July, NBCUniversal consolidated its “news brands,” as Steve Burke said in the accompanying memo, under the new News Group chairmanship of Patricia Fili-Krushel. Here’s the memo Capus sent out today:
Working in network news is not a solitary pursuit; it is the ultimate “team sport,” in which success is derived from the collective performances of remarkable people united in purpose and dedication. I have seldom described my role as “presiding” over NBC News. Instead, I have viewed it as leading a collaborative effort to pursue journalistic excellence.
It has been a privilege to have spent two decades here, but it is now time to head in a new direction. I have informed Pat Fili-Krushel that I will be leaving NBC News in the coming weeks.
NBC News has revealed that chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel and members of his production team were freed from Syrian captors on Monday, after a firefight at a checkpoint. The group disappeared last Thursday, shortly after crossing into northwest Syria from Turkey. NBC had been attempting to enforce a news blackout, but Engel’s kidnapping was outed Monday afternoon following online reports by the Turkish media. The captors were unidentified and not believed to be loyal to the Assad regime, NBC News said, adding that there had been no contact with them, nor any calls for ransom during the five-day period. Two of the kidnappers were killed during a confrontation Monday evening when they were moving the prisoners to a new location and ran into a checkpoint manned by members of a Syrian rebel group. Despite having been blindfolded and bound during their captivity, Engel and the production team were said to be unharmed and have been safely moved out of Syria.
NBC News Digital houses NBCNews.com, MSNBC.com, Today.com, TheGrio.com, NBCLatino.com and NBCPolitics.com among other properties. It has been building out new partnerships with other NBCUniversal divisions like CNBC and parent company Comcast’s Xfinity after NBCUniversal acquired full ownership of its digital networks from MSN back in July, ending a 16-year tie-up. Now iVillage, an online community for women, will be joining its portfolio to sync better with like-minded sites like Today.com, create more high-value sales opportunities for clients, collaborate with the network’s on-air programs, and tap into the resources and technology of NBC News. With the iVillage network, NBC News Digital is estimated to reach an average of more than 62 million unique users a month. iVillage will be overseen by Vivian Schiller, SVP & Chief Digital Officer at NBC News, who leads NBC News Digital.
The NBC newsmagazine has replaced original executive producer Rome Hartman with Alex Wallace, a top lieutenant of NBC News president Steve Capus. According to an internal memo from Capus made public today, Hartman will stay on to work on special projects including the network’s presidential election coverage. Meanwhile, along with the day-to-day oversight of the year-old Rock Center With Brian Williams, Wallace will guide Ann Curry’s new production unit and health coverage. Rock Center has struggled to gain a ratings foothold since its debut; recently it has gained traction in its new Thursday time slot, up 38% in the demo week-over-week for its last airing, though it still hovers around a 1 rating.
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
The rumors of Tom Brokaw‘s disappearance from the public stage have been greatly exaggerated, if not outright wrong. Brokaw departed the NBC Nightly News anchor …
The goal of the appointment and reorganization, NBCUniversal chief Steve Burke says in a staff memo, is to “enhance collaboration among our news brands.” That means NBC News’ Steve Capus and CNBC’s Mark Hoffman now will report to Fili-Krushel not Burke. And the new NBCUniversal News Group chairman — who has no newsroom experience — has to right a news operation that’s taking it on the chin. Rivals have gained so much ground on shows including Today, NBC Nightly News, and Meet The Press that even the typically NBC-friendly New York Times recently observed: ”For the first time in more than a decade, NBC News appears adrift.”
Here’s the note Burke sent to employees:
I am writing to let you know that we are creating a new division called the NBCUniversal News Group. This division will be composed of NBC News, CNBC, MSNBC and the Weather Channel and it will be led by Pat Fili-Krushel as Chairman. Steve Capus, Mark Hoffman and Phil Griffin will continue in their current roles and Mark and Steve will continue to serve on the Executive Committee.
Our news businesses are the most powerful, important and profitable in the industry. Each of our news channels is a category leader and tens of millions of viewers look to us every day for fast and reliable information and analysis. I am confident that placing all of these assets into one group will accelerate their growth, individually and collectively.
“This is not as I expected to ever leave this couch after 15 years,” the Today co-host said this morning, when she announced today is her last day as a regular co-host on the NBC morning show. “They’re giving me some fancy new titles which essentially mean I’m going …
It was a rare move to plug a competitor’s scoop in the hotly contested TV news biz. NBC News interrupted its regular programming today to tell viewers that …
A third person involved with a misleadingly edited recording of George Zimmerman’s 911 call to police in the Trayvon Martin case is no longer employed by NBC News. TV Newser reported today that Luciano was dismissed after …
FRIDAY: When you want to release bad news, everyone knows you do it on a Friday night. The New York Times is citing sources tonight that, not surprisingly, NBC News ended its internal investigation by firing the still unnamed “seasoned” producer deemed …