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Pat Burkey Named EP of ‘NBC Nightly News’

As we first reported yesterday, and is now official, Pat Burkey has been named Executive Producer of “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams,” replacing Bob Epstein who was named VP of NBC News Specials on Tuesday.

“We’re replacing a friend with a friend, a news veteran with a news veteran,” says Williams in a press release announcing the news. “Bob Epstein has led the broadcast brilliantly — and Pat is a much-loved member of the family. Everyone gets to move up — and that’s great news for everyone at NBC News.”

Burkey joined NBC News in 1995 producing the NBC NewsChannel-produced “Nightside.” He joined MSNBC at launch 15 years ago this month. In 2000, Burkey moved to Williams’s MSNBC newscast “The News” before joining “NBC Nightly News” in 2004.

Burkey is Williams’s 5th EP in the almost 7 years he’s been the anchor and managing editor, starting with Steve Capus who was bumped upstairs — and is now NBC News president — in 2004-2005, John Reiss from 2005-2007 (now EP of MSNBC’s “Hardball”), Alexandra Wallace from 2007-2008 (a VP and deputy to Capus), and Epstein from 2008-2011.

PATRICK BURKEY NAMED EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF “NBC NIGHTLY NEWS”

NEW YORK, NY — JULY 20, 2011 — Longtime NBC News producer Patrick Burkey has been named executive producer of “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.” In his new role, he will oversee all aspects of the nation’s most-watched evening newscast.

He most recently served as executive producer of the top-rated weekend editions of both “NBC Nightly News” and “Today” — the first and only person to manage both simultaneously. He was named executive producer of “Nightly News” weekend editions in 2006 and took over “Today” weekend editions in 2009. Both shows have been dominant under his leadership: Saturday and Sunday editions of “Today” have steadily grown each season in total viewers and have consistently grown their advantage over the competition in the key 25-54 demo; and weekend “Nightly” has been the number one evening newscast every season in both total viewers and all key 25-54 demos.

“Pat Burkey has played a pivotal role at NBC News for years,” said NBC News president Steve Capus. “His diligent and dynamic work propelled weekend ‘Today’ and weekend ‘Nightly’ into phenomenal successes, and I know his return to ‘NBC Nightly News’ will not only continue the the broadcast’s reign at number one, but will take it to new heights.”

“We’re replacing a friend with a friend, a news veteran with a news veteran,” said Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor of “NBC Nightly News.” “Bob Epstein has led the broadcast brilliantly — and Pat is a much-loved member of the family. Everyone gets to move up — and that’s great news for everyone at NBC News.”

Burkey joined NBC News in 1995, when he produced a national overnight newscast at NBC NewsChannel. He was involved in the 1996 launch of MSNBC and produced the cable network’s first hour of programming. He began working with Brian Williams in 2000 as a producer on the prime time cable program “The News with Brian Williams.” Burkey transitioned to “NBC Nightly News” in 2004 as senior producer and has helped manage coverage of every major news event since.

Burkey played a major role in the planning and execution of NBC’s election night coverage in 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010. He has extensive experience producing live broadcasts from the hardest hit regions of the world at times of natural disasters — from the tsunami in Bandah Aceh to the earthquake in Haiti to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. In 2009, he served as executive producer responsible for all live coverage of the funeral of Senator Edward Kennedy — including all live feeds of Today, special report coverage and continuous live feeds of Nightly News through the west coast. During the 2010 Olympic games, he produced “NBC Nightly News,” weekend “Nightly” and weekend “Today” programs live from Vancouver. After Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot, he helped mobilize “Nightly” coverage and produced NBC’s first live broadcast from Tucson in the hours after the attack.

His work has been honored with four Emmy Awards, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, the Overseas Press Club’s David Kaplan Award, and a George Foster Peabody Award.

Patrick Burkey began his career at WJZ-TV in Baltimore. He lives in New York City with his wife Maribel and their two young sons.

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