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Revolving Door

Matthew Olsen Joins ABC News

MatthewOlsenMatthew Olsen, a former federal prosecutor and NSA official, is joining ABC News as a contributor based in Washington, DC.

Most recently, Olsen was Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, reporting directly to President Obama and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. “Matt’s expertise and deep knowledge will be an invaluable asset to our already exceptional team,” writes ABC News president James Goldston in a note to staff. Olsen will work with Martha Raddatz, Brian Ross and Pierre Thomas, along with other ABC News counter-terrorism analysts.

“I look forward to even more great journalism and insider reporting from this powerhouse team,” Goldston writes.

Deborah Turness to Work with ‘Today’ Team Until GM Slot is Filled

nbc-news-senior-leadership-team

Back in January, NBC News president Deborah Turness sent out this org chart of her senior leadership team. There was a slot to fill: SVP and GM of the “Today” show. Today, that position is open again.

Jamie Horowitz, hired for the job back in May, didn’t make it to his first official day with NBC — Dec. 1. As TVNewser first reported, Horowitz was fired late Monday.

This morning, insiders tell us Matt Lauer was among those who’d lost faith in his leadership, but that any goodwill Horowitz had earned from Turness and her boss, Pat Fili-Krushel, who both recruited Horowitz from ESPN earlier this year, had run out.

Horowitz had been making the rounds at the show since September.  “He’s a really smart guy, and he’s been great at reaching out to us, getting our input, and so far we’re really impressed,” co-host Willie Geist told TVNewser two weeks ago.

It was in those meetings, from top talent, to the production assistants, that a profile began to emerge of an executive who would pit staffers against one another; a game of ‘Survivor,’ the Daily News called it, with people’s livelihoods at stake. “He was creating drama that wasn’t there,” an insider says.

Geist, who knows Horowitz personally, was among those angered by his antics. (Geist’s sister Libby worked with Horowitz at ESPN and is married to his former producing partner Kevin Wildes.)

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Jamie Horowitz Out at NBC News

JamieHorowitzBreaking: Insiders tells us Jamie Horowitz, the recently-hired SVP and GM of the “Today” show is no longer with NBC News. A source tells us Horowitz and his boss, NBC News president Deborah Turness, were not seeing eye to eye, leading to Horowitz’s departure from the network late today.

Horowitz, who was heavily recruited from ESPN for the top job at “Today” — and had to sit out several months before taking the job — only arrived at NBC a few months ago. At the time of his hiring in May, Turness wrote, “Jamie is the perfect person for this crucial role — he is a visionary leader, a creative thinker and a seasoned expert in developing and driving brands that truly connect.”

Just last week, Page Six reported that, due to some internal unrest and lackluster news ratings, Turness’ job may be on the line, and that Horowitz was among those being considered for the job. NBC shot down that report, throwing its full support behind Turness. “Deborah is not going anywhere. She’s just getting started. She has the full support of NBCU brass all the way to the top,” a spokesperson said. Turness joined NBC News 16 months ago.

More: Horowitz’s official start date was to be Dec. 1, but he had been at NBC having meetings with the “Today” show team since September.

More: In a memo to staff, obtained by TVNewser, Turness writes, “[T]ogether, he and I have come to the conclusion that this is not the right fit.”

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Shakeups at NBC News Include Veteran Staffers

dee_dee_twitter_iconNBCMurray

According to sources, Mary Murray (near right) will be replacing Roxanne Garcia-Bell as the director of the Southern Region of NBC News. Murray will be based out of Miami and her territory includes Cuba and South America.

Murray, has been with NBC since 1994, and is the former NBC News Bureau Chief in Havana.

Sources also tell TVNewser that Dee Dee Thomas (far right) is out as Executive Producer of “Weekend Today,” but will continue to work on other projects at NBC. Thomas had been EP of the Weekend editions of the morning shows since 2011. Her interim replacement is “Today” senior producer Matt Carluccio, but NBC is currently searching for a permanent replacement.

Thomas has been at the company since 1993, while Garcia-Bell started in 1997, giving them a combined 38 years experience at NBC News.

Layoffs at CNBC.com

CNBC 25Layoffs have hit CNBC.com, TVNewser has learned. Around eight staffers have been cut.

At the same time, CNBC.com is adding to the roster. Eric Chemi is joining as senior editor-at-large of Data Journalism. Chemi had been at Bloomberg Media.

And John Melloy has returned to CNBC after a brief stint at StockTwits. When Melloy bolted for the social media company, CNBC considered filing a breach of contract suit against him. Apparently, that’s water under the bridge as Melloy is back in the fold focusing on content for CNBC PRO.

Jeff Zucker Names New CNN Digital Team

newCNNCNN President Jeff Zucker announced today a new management structure for CNN Digital led by Andrew Morse, Meredith Artley and Alex Wellen. This moves comes after KC Estenson, the former senior vice president and general manager of CNN.com, was laid off amid company-wide cuts.

The new, three-headed digital group has specific roles designed for each member. Morse will oversee CNN Digital global operations and editorial. Wellen is the chief product officer, while Artley has been promoted to editor-in-chief.

Zucker issued the following statement: Read more

CNN Departure Lounge Clears Out

Last Friday saw the departure of another group of laid off CNN employees. They are part of the 300-person workforce reduction at the news channel which began last month. Many employees stayed on to help through midterm election coverage. Insiders tell us another group will be making Nov. 21 their last day, while still another wave will depart on Dec. 19.

Among those saying goodbye last Friday, CNN.com host Jarrett Bellini who’s been with the network more than 10 years. Atlanta-based Bellini, the younger brother of Wall Street Journal senior producer Jason Bellini, was looking forward to going pants-less this week.

Among the big names departing the DC bureau, is Michelle Jaconi, a 12-year NBC News veteran who moved to CNN in 2009 and has been producing special projects for the last several years. “By the end of my time here, my telephone had become the equivalent of the Red Phone. More often than not, it was someone from the top of one of the Turner totem poles needing me to lead a pressing new project,” Jaconi wrote in a goodbye memo.

And as CNN right-sizes , the network continues to fill some slots. Molly Shiels, the coordinating producer for Maria Bartiromo‘s show, left FBN for CNN where she will be coordinating producer for Brian Stelter at CNNMoney. She started yesterday.

Weather Channel Cuts 40 More Staffers

the-weather-channel304x200First on TVNewser: Pink slips are being handed out this morning at the Weather Channel. As many as 40 staffers are being cut from the ranks of senior producers, show producers, and weather producers, insiders tell TVNewser.

“After a careful analysis of our business, we made the difficult decision today to eliminate roles across all functions and levels,” a spokesperson tells TVNewser.

Today’s cuts come just a month after another round of layoffs at the Atlanta-based company. Those cuts came from the product and technology group which was created in July as part of a larger reorganization at the company. The network says today’s cuts conclude the reorganization process, leaving a total of more than 80 people looking for work. About 1,300 people work for the Weather Company.

“The television business is shifting and in order for us to compete in the future, we need to reallocate and better focus our resources on what we know our audiences want,” the spokesperson says. “The changes we are making today are necessary, difficult and the responsible way for us to move forward.”

Bloomberg recently reported that two of the three owners of the Weather Channel — private equity firms Blackstone Group and Bain Capital — may be looking to sell their interest. The third owner is NBCUniversal. The three acquired the Weather Channel in 2008.

Jana Winter Leaving Fox News

jana winterJana Winter, the FoxNews.com reporter who successfully fought to protect her sources during coverage of the Colorado theater shooting, is leaving FNC, TVNewser has learned.

“As some of you may have heard, today is my last day at Fox,” Winter wrote to colleagues, in a note obtained by TVNewser. “It’s been an honor and a privilege to have gotten to know you so many of you over the past six years. You are truly amazing, intrepid journalists and I have learned so much from you.”

In Dec. 2012, lawyers for movie theater killer James Holmes demanded Winter be compelled to testify about the source of one of her stories. A year-long legal battle came to a head last December, when a New York court ruled in Winter’s favor, keeping her from serving jail time for not revealing her source. The case was finally closed in May when an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was rejected.

In her note, Winter gives “a huge thank you to what’s got to be the best legal department in the entire universe.”

There’s no word on where Winter is headed next.

CNN’s Steve Kastenbaum Joins Westwood One

cnnCNN reporter and producer Steve Kastenbaum has been named senior correspondent and New York bureau chief for Westwood One News, a new service set to launch at the end of the year.

Kastenbaum, a veteran of CNN Radio, which was shuttered last year, has been reporting and field producing for CNN and CNN Newsource. He’ll lead a team of new hires.

Read the Westwood One release, after the jump.
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