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NBC News is the news division of NBC, a division of NBCUniversal LLC, a Comcast company. Programs include “Today,” “Nightly News with Brian Williams,” and “Dateline.” “Meet the Press with Chuck Todd” is the longest-running television series in American broadcasting history, debuting on November 6, 1947. Deborah Turness is the president of NBC News.

Brian Williams Signs New Deal with NBC

WilliamsBrian2NBC’s Brian Williams, who just celebrated 10 years as anchor of “NBC Nightly News” has signed a new long-term deal with the network.

The Los Angeles Times‘ Stephen Battaglio reports the deal will keep Williams in the chair at least another half decade:

[I]nsiders at the network say it will keep him at the helm of the “NBC Nightly News” for at least five more years. He didn’t disclose his financial compensation, but it’s said to be more than $10 million a year.

“It’s probably time I admit that I am a one-trick pony,” Williams tells Battaglio. “I am, I think, designed and put on this Earth to do what I’m doing now — and that is to eat, sleep and breathe nonfiction and the news going on in the world. And then at 6:30 every night I get to deliver it, and I get to hear from the audience, and I get to know them.”

NBC News president Deborah Turness calls Williams “one of the most trusted journalists of our time.”

“Under Brian’s leadership, ‘Nightly’ has solidified its position as America’s most watched news broadcast, and is off to its best start of the season in nine years,” Turness writes.

Her full note after the jump…

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Creepy Overnight TV News Stringer Jake Gyllenhaal Talks Golden Globe Nom

Jake Gyllenhaal called into ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday to talk about his Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of a morally-challenged, seriously creepy TV news stringer in “Nightcrawler.”

Gyllenhaal, who was also nominated for a The Screen Actors Guild award for the performance, is up for Best Actor in a Motion Picture. The 2015 Golden Globes will air four weeks from tonight on NBC, once again be hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

TV News Goes All In on Torture Report Coverage

BrennanCIAThe Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s report on CIA torture practices has been dominating news media since it was released. On the heels of massive cable and evening news coverage Tuesday, the reporting isn’t slowing down on the 525 page public summation of the still-confidential 6,000 page report.

CIA Director John Brennan’s news conference was live on all the cable news channels this afternoon. NBC even aired a special report anchored by Lester Holt.

Former Vice President Dick Cheney is making the rounds. On FNC’s “Special Report with Bret Baier,” Cheney called the report “full of crap,” and a “terrible piece of work.” Cheney will join Chuck Todd in-studio on Sunday’s “Meet the Press.”

An interesting tidbit about Brennan’s presser is that cameras didn’t show which reporters were asking questions because clandestine members of the CIA were in attendance.

That Time Richard Engel Was Going to be a Human Shield for Saddam Hussein

NBC’s chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel is back in New York this week and last night was on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.” Engel talked about the Senate report on CIA torture, and his experience covering the Middle East for the last 10+ years.

Engel talked about a reporting trip to Iraq before the U.S. invasion when he “volunteered to be a human shield” for former dictator Saddam Hussein in exchange for a visa to enter the country. He got in, and told Meyers what happened next:

NBC, ESPN Among ‘Best Places to Work’

nbcuniversal304Glassdoor has announced its seventh annual Employees’ Choice Awards, ranking the Best Places to Work across the U.S. and the UK. Google ranks No. 1, with well-known companies such as Chevron and Facebook — which fell from 5th to 13th — throughout the list. NBCUniversal and ESPN made the list.

NBCUniversal, 31st on the list, is described as a “great company to work for” with plenty of opportunities to move around within the company and a great work/life balance.

ESPN ranks 48th and is described as an “enjoyable and exciting workplace.” TVNewser recently visited the ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut and can confirm it seems like a nice place to work.

Both media giants fall behind In-N-Out Burger, the West Coast, cult-favorite burger chain which ranks eighth. TVNewser failed to make the list, but we like to think it would have been 51st.

Ebola Fighters are TIME Person of the Year

Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 8.00.14 AM

Just announced on the “Today” show: The Ebola Fighters are the TIME Person of the Year. The magazine will have five covers representing hundreds of people who battled Ebola on the frontlines. Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly, who is on one of the covers, called in to the “Today” show. ”It’s an incredible honor to be part of the group that’s being recognized,” Brantly told Matt Lauer. “I think it’s fitting that we acknowledge most Ebola fighters and those who paid the highest price for their service are, themselves, West African.” The Ferguson protesters were #2. Russian president Vladimir Putin was #3. Here are the 5 covers of the 2014 TIME Person of the Year.


‘CBS Evening News’ Gives Torture Report 11 Minutes as CIA Story Dominates Newscasts

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 8.46.46 PMThe release of a sweeping report from the Senate Intelligence Committee into the CIA’s actions after 9/11–immediately dubbed the “torture report”–dominated Tuesday evening’s network newscasts, with the “CBS Evening News” devoting more than 11 minutes to the story.

CBS’ coverage included packages from Nancy Cordes and Bob Orr, and an extended clip of a 2007 “60 Minutes” interview Scott Pelley did with ex-CIA director George Tenet, where he firmly denied–repeatedly–that the U.S. engaged in torture.

“NBC Nightly News” spent seven and a half minutes on the story, beginning with Andrea Mitchell. ABC’s “World News Tonight” led with just over six minutes on torture, including packages from Martha Raddatz and Jonathan Karl.

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 9.02.38 PMOverseas, the U.K.’s Channel 4 (left) had extensive coverage on the torture report–more than fifteen minutes–including a live report from Washington, and a story on what role, if any, Britain played in the CIA’s torture of detainees.

Al Jazeera America, by comparison, gave the story twelve minutes of coverage in the network’s flagship U.S. newscast, “America Tonight.”

Janelle Rodriguez Bolts CNN for NBC News

janelle rodriguez cnnJanelle Rodriguez, who has been been VP of Programming at CNN for the last three years, is joining NBC News as SVP of Editorial, reporting to NBC News president Deborah Turness.

Rodriguez will coordinate enterprise and original storytelling and breaking news coverage. She will oversee the Investigations and Medical units as well as the Booking team and lead the division-wide editorial planning meetings.

“In this role her job is to focus on one thing – journalism – and to bring together the great talent, assets and experience at NBC News to better serve the entire organization,” writes Turness in a note to staff, obtained by TVNewser.

Early next year, NBC News will unveil an integrated digital and broadcast newsgathering Hub. Rodriguez, who joins next month, will play a central role at the Hub.

“To know Janelle is to see her deep passion for news, and her keen ability to find the sharpest angle in every story,” writes Turness. “It’s that sensibility, along with her experience bringing together various platforms to best tell those stories, that will position her for success here.”

Turness says she’s been searching for the right candidate for six months. The news division is still looking to hire an SVP of the “Today” show following the disastrous hiring/dismissal of Jamie Horowitz last month.

Who Should be Time‘s Person of the Year?

This morning on the “Today” show, Time managing editor Nancy Gibbs revealed the eight finalists for the 2014 Person of the Year. Gibbs will return to “Today” on Wednesday to announce the winner. The eight finalists come from all walks of life, including Ferguson protesters, Ebola caregivers, Vladimir PutinTaylor SwiftJack MaTim CookMasoud Barzani and Roger Goodell.

Shaking Up the Morning News Landscape

cbsthismorning130The Wrap takes a detailed look at the morning show wars and what they found will probably surprise a lot of people. The article essentially says CBS is doing its own thing, while “GMA and “Today” grab all the attention. And, as we showed you yesterday, it’s working: for the month of November, “CTM” is the only morning show to see viewer growth.

As “Today” and “Good Morning America” continue to duke it out for morning television’s top spot, “CBS This Morning” has been quietly but aggressively closing the gap. In the last couple of years, “CTM” has gone through a complete reboot in a last-ditch effort to save what was until recently a morning TV dud.