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Posts Tagged ‘Jamie Horowitz’

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.

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‘Either Do What’s Necessary, Or Admit You’re Not Up To It’: The Other ‘Today’ Manifesto

today1991

The memo described in brutal detail the changes that needed to be made to NBC’s “Today.” Some of the show’s top talent were targeted: “this guy’s killing us and no one’s even trying to rein him in.” Of course, those words were written in 1989 by Bryant Gumbel, who was speaking of Willard Scott.

And yet it all sounds so much like this week’s dismissal of “Today” show GM Jamie Horowitz. Several insider accounts of the departure make reference to a “manifesto”, wherein the former ESPN producer described in detail what was wrong with “Today”, and how he intended to fix it. By all accounts, it was not warmly received:

A week ago, according to an informed source, Horowitz presented Turness with a written “manifesto” outlining his scheme; on reading it, she “took umbrage” and was horrified.

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NBC News Boss on US Weekly ‘Today’ Show Story: ‘The Rumors are Wrong — Period’

USToday

This is NOT the “Today” show’s week.

US Weekly went waaaaay out on a limb this morning with a piece claiming that two “Today” show hosts were fired.

Co-hosts Willie Geist and Natalie Morales “were recently told they were fired,” an NBC source reveals exclusively in the new issue of Us Weekly. Morales, 42, is now in talks with ABC and Geist, 39, has lined up a gig at CBS, the insider tells Us.

None of that is true, say NBC and CBS and ABC.

When we asked whether Geist has “lined up a gig” at CBS News, spokesperson Sonya McNair told TVNewser, “No.” When we asked ABC if Morales is in talks with that network, we were told the network doesn’t comment on rumors and speculation. (Morales is under contract with NBC News for two more years, until November, 2016.)

As for NBC, network news president Deborah Turness is crystal clear: “the rumors are wrong — period:”

NBC’s TODAY has the best anchor team in morning television. The entire TODAY show anchor team — Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker, Natalie Morales, Willie Geist, Carson Daly, Tamron Hall, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb — are incredibly talented, valued and have our support. In response to the false rumors that have been circulated about our anchor team, NBC wants to be absolutely clear: The rumors are wrong — period. This is the team we are committed to. And this is the team that our viewers turn to in the morning.

The US Weekly story is a byproduct of the firing of “Today” show SVP Jamie Horowitz earlier this week. Read more

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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New York Post Stirring Up Drama at NBC News

Deborah-Turness304X200The New York Post continues to stir the pot at NBC News.

According to Richard Johnson, NBC is eyeing Bloomberg Media chief content officer Josh Tyrangiel to replace Deborah Turness as president of NBC News. The Post also mentions “Today” show boss Jamie Horowitz as a contender to replace the still-employed Turness.

The latest Post report comes only a few days after NBC had to shoot down rumors of a power struggle between Turness and “Today” show co host Natalie Morales after a “Page Six” article. Citing “sources” and “insiders,” Johnson says Turness has alienated on-air talent, is on the chopping block and doesn’t have many allies.

“Deborah is not going anywhere. She’s just getting started. She has the full support of NBCU brass all the way to the top,” and NBC spokesperson says.

Natalie Morales and Willie Geist On the ‘Today’ Show’s New Family Members

Morales and Geist in Chicago on Saturday. Photo: Alissa Krinsky

Morales and Geist in Chicago on Saturday. Photo: Alissa Krinsky

Fresh out of their costumes as Saturday Night Live’Mary Katherine Gallagher and Spartan cheerleader Craig, “Today” show co-anchors Natalie Morales and Willie Geist told TVNewser they are delighted with the show’s well-received Halloween 2014 Boo-Nanza on Friday.

“We all get along so well,” Morales says about her on-air colleagues, citing the ”camaraderie” she felt as they portrayed famous SNL characters in a collection of skits.

It’s a far cry from the discord and tension at “Today” in 2012, when Ann Curry‘s exit from the show triggered an onslaught of negative publicity.

Since then, Savannah Guthrie – back from maternity leave this morning — was named co-anchor. Geist officially joined the “Today” family as well.

“I think you read things and you hear things about what TV shows are like behind the scenes – you know it’s cutthroat, and all that,” Geist told TVNewser, during an interview in Chicago Saturday ahead of “Skyscraper Live,” which Geist and Morales hosted last night.

“I was so impressed by how it was unlike anything I’d read the show was, and how good everyone is to each other and how well they get along.”

As the show continues to move forward, other new faces are on the scene as well.

Former ABC morning show competitor Josh Elliott made his first on-set appearance on “Today” last week, filling in for Morales as news anchor.  Read more

Bill Wolff Leaving MSNBC for ‘The View’

WolffBill Wolff, who’s been a fixture at MSNBC for nearly a decade, is about to get a new view.

An MSNBC spokesperson confirms with TVNewser that Wolff, who is the EP of Rachel Maddow‘s show, as well as VP of primetime, is leaving the network. The Hollywood Reporter reports Wolff will be taking over as EP of “The View” when the new season starts, with an almost all-new cast, and one returning host. Wolff will take over for Bill Geddie who has overseen the show since it launched in 1997.

The Daily News positions the move as a trade. For ABC allowing Wolff out of his NBCU contract, ESPN’s Jamie Horowitz will be allowed to leave the sports network earlier than planned as he takes the reins as SVP of the “Today” show. Wolff joined MSNBC from ESPN.

Wolff, you’ll recall, was the man behind the bucket last week as his host got doused.

Turness: ‘Homegrown Talent with Perhaps a Few Surprises’ to Fill In For Savannah Guthrie

savannah guthrie_304x200NBC News president Deborah Turness talks to The New York TimesBill Carter about the appointment of Jamie Horowitz, who will take over as SVP and general manager of the “Today” show later this year: “He’s incredibly creative,” she said. “He’s very brand aware, very multiplatform and just a great producer.”

Turness also talked about another topic of recent interest at the “Today” show:

Ms. Turness also addressed questions recently raised about whether “Today” would be inviting its former star, Katie Couric, to fill in as a co-host with Matt Lauer during Savannah Guthrie’s coming maternity leave.

“Savannah has been such a big part of the ‘Today’ show’s momentum over the last few months,” Ms. Turness said. “While she’s with her newborn we’ll keep that momentum going with our own homegrown talent with perhaps a few surprises mixed in.”

Jamie Horowitz Named SVP/General Manager of ‘Today’ Show

JamieHorowitzESPN executive Jamie Horowitz is joining NBC News as SVP and GM of the “Today” show. But his ESPN contract won’t allow him to take the job until later this year.

Horowitz, who will report to NBC News president Deborah Turness, will lead the four hours of “Today” on all platforms. Executive producer Don Nash, “Weekend Today” EP Dee Dee Thomas, and Jen Brown the GM of Today.com, will report to Horowitz.

At ESPN, Horowitz is Vice President of Original Programming and Production. He has overseen the launch of Keith Olbermann‘s ESPN2 show as well as “First Take,” “Numbers Never Lie,” and “SportsNation.” Before joining ESPN in 2006, Horowitz worked at NBC Sports. He began his career as an NBC Olympics Researcher for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.

“I am honored to join Deborah’s team and help guide ‘Today’ into the future,” said Horowitz in a news release. “This is an exciting and invigorating opportunity, and I am humbled to work with one of the most indelible brands in television. I am also grateful to John Skipper and ESPN for the opportunities and support they have given me over the past eight years.”

Horowitz is another in a line of “Today” show leaders who got their start with NBC Olympics. Former EP Jim Bell, now the EP of NBC Olympics, got his start as a producer for NBC’s coverage of the 1992 Barcelona Games. Now CNN Worldwide president, one-time “Today” show EP Jeff Zucker‘s first job at NBC was as a researcher at the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

Deadspin first reported back in January that NBC was talking with Horowitz about the job.

See Turness’ internal note to staff, after the jump…

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