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Bob Epstein Takes Over at Nightly News

Last week, THR reported that NBC Nightly News EP Alex Wallace would return to the front office. NBC announced today that Wallace will also have expanded duties: “Wallace’s responsibilities will include overseeing ‘Nightly News,’ news production, staffing, and in partnership with NBC News VP David Verdi, newsgathering. At the same time, Bob Epstein takes the top job at Nightly news.

Says NBC News president Steve Capus in the release, “Alex has been one of my closest advisors for years and will bring to the front office a great depth of knowledge, respect and her trademark dedication, at time when our industry needs such true leadership. She leaves Nightly News in the capable, steady hands of a true professional. Bob Epstein and I worked closely on the launch of MSNBC and through the years together on countless big assignments. He’s the right person to lead Nightly’s next chapter of success.”


ALEXANDRA WALLACE RETURNS TO THE NBC NEWS EXECUTIVE TEAM AS SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT

Bob Epstein Named Executive Producer of “Nightly News with Brian Williams”

December 8, 2008 – New York, N.Y. – Alexandra Wallace will return to the NBC News executive team as senior vice president and Bob Epstein will become executive producer of “Nightly News with Brian Williams.” The announcement was made today by NBC News President Steve Capus.

In what will be an expanded version of the role that she held from January 2006 until March 2007 when she became executive producer of “Nightly News,” Wallace’s responsibilities will include overseeing “Nightly News,” news production, staffing, and in partnership with NBC News VP David Verdi, newsgathering. She will serve as Capus’ chief deputy within the news division.

In making the announcement Capus said, “Alex has been one of my closest advisors for years and will bring to the front office a great depth of knowledge, respect and her trademark dedication, at time when our industry needs such true leadership. She leaves Nightly News in the capable, steady hands of a true professional. Bob Epstein and I worked closely on the launch of MSNBC and through the years together on countless big assignments. He’s the right person to lead Nightly’s next chapter of success.”

“Alex is one of the most formidable producers in television news. She will not accept anything less than first place. She made history at Nightly News – and while she now rises to the front office, Bob Epstein rises to take her place,” said Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor of “Nightly News.” “I’ve known Bob for almost two decades – for years he’s been in charge of making the trains run on time at Nightly News – now he gets to run the whole railroad. I’m replacing a close friend and working partner…with a close friend and working partner. Alex and Bob share the same goal: a dominant, quality broadcast every night of the week.”

Since taking the reigns at “Nightly,” Wallace has helped to reestablish “Nightly News” as the number one evening news broadcast by increasing the show’s average ratings by nearly 400K viewers, Wallace brought the show back to dominance in total viewers and the key demo. “Nightly” is the only evening newscast to have growth year to year under her leadership. Wallace was also instrumental in improving and extending the show’s digital reach by relaunching the show’s website, increasing its online video and adding Mara Schiavocampo, “Nightly News’” digital correspondent to the staff.

Wallace has been with NBC News since she came on as executive producer of “Weekend Today” and senior producer of “Today” in March 2005. Under her direction, “Weekend Today” provided extensive coverage of major news events including Hurricane Katrina and the death of Pope John Paul II. During her time as executive producer, “Weekend Today” ratings remained dominant and “Saturday Today” was number one across the board.

Wallace came to NBC News from CBS News where she was a senior broadcast producer for CBS’ “The Early Show” starting in May 2000. Before that, she was a senior producer for both “The Early Show” and “CBS This Morning.” From 1996 to 1998, Wallace was a producer for the “CBS Evening News with Dan Rather.” From 1990 to 1996, Wallace served as an associate producer for “CBS This Morning,” “48 Hours” and the CBS foreign desk. She began her network career at the CBS News London bureau.

She has been honored with six News and Documentary Emmy awards.

Wallace graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Columbia University and lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

Epstein’s career with NBC News began in February 1996 when he joined MSNBC as executive producer of MSNBC daytime in July 1996 before the official launch of the cable news network.

Most recently he has been the senior broadcast producer of “Nightly” since April 2006. From 2002-2006 Epstein produced “Weekend Nightly” ultimately being named executive producer. Epstein served as senior broadcast producer of specials from 2000-2001.

Before joining NBC News, Epstein worked in a variety of roles at CBS News for 18 years, including senior producer on the “CBS Evening News” weekend edition from 1992 to 1996. He was a producer with the “CBS Evening News with Dan Rather” for the three years prior, and from 1982 – 1989 he went from senior producer to senior broadcast producer at “CBS This Morning/CBS Morning News.” In 1982, Epstein was executive producer at WCBS-TV New York, Channel Two News at Eleven. From 1979 – 1981, Epstein served in a number of capacities at WBBM-TV/CBS Chicago, beginning as a newswriter, then producer, and eventually executive producer.

Before joining CBS, Epstein was news director of WCLR Radio, Chicago, a reporter/anchor at WMAQ/WNIS (the NBC Radio stations in Chicago), news director of WDBR Radio, in Springfield, Illinois, and a newswriter at WGN Chicago.

Epstein’s work has earned him two Peabody Awards, four Emmy Awards, a Dupont Award, Sigma Delta Chi Award and several National Headliner Awards.

Epstein has been inducted in the Hall of Fame of the Illini Media Company, which runs the independent student radio station WPGU at the University of Illinois and is a member of the Resource Development Board, University of Illinois College of Media.

A graduate of the University of Illinois, Epstein resides in New York City with his wife and daughter.

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