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NBC News Shakes Up Management Team, New EP at ‘Rock Center’

NBC News has shaken up its leadership team, promoting DC bureau chief Antoine Sanfuentes (left) to senior VP of NBC News, promoting David Verdi to senior VP of newsgathering, upping Ken Strickland to DC bureau chief and naming Alex Wallace (center) EP of “Rock Center.” For Wallace, it’s a return to overseeing a Brian Williams broadcast. Wallace was EP of “Nightly News” in 2007-2008.

Rome Hartman, (right) the former longtime CBS News producer who launched “Rock Center” as EP, will be shifting to the specials unit with a focus on election coverage.

Announcing the changes, NBC News president Steve Capus highlighted that the new executive ranks all came from inside NBC.

As you read the list of promotions and changes spelled out in this note, please keep in mind I’ve decided to stay inside our talent-rich organization for each of these moves – a real testament to the contributions of these individuals and the bench strength of NBC News.

Sanfuentes, who joined NBC News as a desk assistant in 1990, rose through the producer and executive ranks and was named DC bureau chief in January 2011. In his new role he will be Capus’ chief deputy at NBC News in New York. Wallace, who had been Capus #2, will remain a senior VP and will add oversight of “Rock Center” as well as “Ann Curry’s production unit and our health initiative.”

Verdi, a longtime NBC Newser, who had been VP of newsgathering, is now a senior VP, adding oversight of news affiliate partnerships and the NBC News Channel.

Joining Strickland in DC will be Meaghan Rady, once a producer for Tom Brokaw, who rose through the ranks and will now be deputy bureau chief.

“I’m grateful to Rome for his leadership, signified by Rock Center’s first Emmy last week for Bob Costas’ breakthrough interview with Jerry Sandusky,” Capus writes in his note, which you can read in full after the jump.

From: Capus, Steve (NBCUniversal)
Sent: Tuesday, October 09, 2012 11:42 AM
To: @NBC Uni News Everyone; @MSNBC Everyone; @NBC Uni BNO Long Island City Everyone
Cc: Kelly-Brown, Kathy (NBCUniversal); Miller, Adam (NBCUniversal); Burke, Steve (NBCUniversal); O’Brien, Joanne (NBCUniversal); Hoffman, Mark (NBCUniversal, CNBC); Deogun, Nikhil (NBCUniversal)
Subject: NBC News Management

This news organization is a thriving, vibrant culture – where people at all levels are empowered to contribute their ideas and talents, for the betterment of the entire team. With those guiding principles in mind, as we continue to evolve America’s leading news division, today we are announcing a series of changes to the NBC News management structure. As you read the list of promotions and changes spelled out in this note, please keep in mind I’ve decided to stay inside our talent-rich organization for each of these moves – a real testament to the contributions of these individuals and the bench strength of NBC News.

I have asked Antoine Sanfuentes to come to NBC News headquarters at 30 Rock and serve as my chief deputy. Effective immediately, he is promoted to Senior Vice President, NBC News and will have oversight of “Nightly News with Brian Williams,” the Washington, D.C. bureau, strategic partnerships with other NBCU News and information properties, investigative reporting, as well as our diversity initiatives.

Additionally, I have asked Alex Wallace, who has been tremendous while serving as my primary deputy, to take on the role of Executive Producer of “Rock Center with Brian Williams.” Alex remains a Senior Vice President and will also have oversight of Ann Curry’s production unit and our health initiatives. Alex has helped me guide this News division through countless challenges with a positive energy, creative approach and dedication. She will do great work along with Brian Williams, David Corvo and the talented Rock Center team.

David Verdi has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Worldwide News Gathering, where he’ll have oversight of news affiliate partnerships and the NBC News Channel. This will effectively create the strongest news gathering unit of any news organization, pulling together the resources of NBC News, the NBC News Channel, and our affiliates. Bob Horner’s innovative leadership of the News Channel continues as does Lloyd Siegel’s affiliate relations management, all in greater partnership with David Verdi’s team.

I’m delighted to announce that stepping up to take on Antoine’s former duties is Ken Strickland who is promoted to Vice President and named Washington D.C. Bureau Chief. Ken has been a great partner to Antoine in recent years and will continue to report to Antoine as they build on the momentum they’ve created together.

Joining forces with Ken will be Meaghan Rady who is promoted to Deputy Washington Bureau Chief.

It is hard to believe that “Rock Center” is coming up on its first anniversary broadcast. One of the architects of that primetime news magazine is Rome Hartman. I’m grateful to Rome for his leadership there, signified by Rock Center’s first Emmy last week for Bob Costas’ breakthrough interview with Jerry Sandusky. In the short term, I’ve asked Rome to work with Mark Lukasiewicz and the NBC News Special unit on Decision 2012. In the long term, I will be turning to Rome to contribute to a number of key NBC News strategic initiatives.

Last night NBC News was honored, for the fourth year in a row, with the Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence. The “Murrow” is a true recognition of our outstanding team, as are these changes. I hope you will join me in congratulating Antoine, Alex, David, Ken, Meaghan and Rome on their new roles.

-Steve

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