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NBC Taps Jim Bell to Lead 2012 Olympics Coverage

NBC Sports & Olympics has tapped “Today” executive producer Jim Bell to lead its 2012 coverage of the London Olympic Games. Bell spent 16 years at NBC Sports & Olympics before joining the iconic morning program in 2005. He will work closely with NBC Olympics president Gary Zenkel and NBC Sports & Olympics chief Mark Lazarus, and will also continue to serve as EP of the news program.

“Jim’s unique background in both sports and news at NBCUniversal makes him the perfect choice to lead our London Olympics production,” said Lazarus in a statement. “He knows the people at NBC Sports, the intricacies of the Olympics, and how to work within NBCUniversal. Jim’s leadership combined with the extensive experience of our existing Olympic production team — led by head of production Bucky Gunts, coordinating producer Molly Solomon, creative director Mark Levy, and executive editor Joe Gesue — has us well positioned to present the London Olympics in a manner consistent with the high standards that viewers have come to expect from NBC.”

More information after the jump.

JIM BELL NAMED EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF NBCUNIVERSAL’S LONDON OLYMPIC COVERAGE

Bell Will Continue Role as Executive Producer of NBC News’ TODAY

NEW YORK – August 30, 2011 – Jim Bell, the executive producer of TODAY and a former NBC Sports & Olympics producer, will serve as executive producer for NBCUniversal’s coverage of the 2012 London Olympics, Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Sports Group, announced today.

Bell, who will continue to oversee all aspects of America’s top-rated TODAY show news program, will have editorial oversight for NBCUniversal’s coverage of the London Olympic Games and will work extensively with Gary Zenkel, President, NBC Olympics.

“Jim’s unique background in both sports and news at NBCUniversal makes him the perfect choice to lead our London Olympics production,” said Lazarus. “He knows the people at NBC Sports, the intricacies of the Olympics, and how to work within NBCUniversal. Jim’s leadership combined with the extensive experience of our existing Olympic production team — led by head of production Bucky Gunts, coordinating producer Molly Solomon, creative director Mark Levy, and executive editor Joe Gesue — has us well positioned to present the London Olympics in a manner consistent with the high standards that viewers have come to expect from NBC.”

Prior to joining TODAY in 2005, Bell spent 16 years with NBC Sports & Olympics. He has worked on every Olympic Games NBC has broadcast since 1992 in either sports (1992, 1996, 2000, 2002 and 2004) or news (2006, 2008 and 2010). His NBC Sports & Olympics career began in 1990 when he was hired to work in the profiles unit for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games and concluded in 2004 when he served as coordinating producer for NBC Olympics, overseeing all aspects of nearly 100 hours of afternoon and late night Olympic programming during the 2004 Athens Olympics.

“It is an honor to return to the Olympics, the pinnacle of sports television. And for nearly 25 years no one has done it better than NBC, with innovative, comprehensive coverage and signature storytelling of the world’s greatest athletes,” said Bell. “It is especially exciting to be working with so many good friends and former colleagues on the 2012 London Summer Games.”

Bell won Emmys for his work on the 1992, 1996, 2000 & 2002 Olympics and a Peabody for NBC’s coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony. During Bell’s tenure at TODAY, the iconic news program has extended its dominance in the morning ratings race to 15 years, earned five Emmys, seven Edward R. Murrow Awards and nine Headliner Awards.

“Jim’s unmatched talents producing both live news and sporting events reach from the control room to the studio and straight to viewers at home,” said Steve Capus, NBC News President. “He is at the helm of the strongest, most dominant team in morning television. With the success of the TODAY show, which has Olympic-production similarities on a daily basis, Jim has proven time and again that no one is more suited to handle both roles.”

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