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Posts Tagged ‘Pat Burkey’

Brian Williams Marks 10 Years of ‘Nightly News’

BrianWilliams120204Ten years ago tonight, Brian Williams took over as anchor and managing editor of “NBC Nightly News.”

After last night’s show, the staff gathered in Studio 3B for a champagne toast and cookies. After remarks from executive producer Pat Burkey and SVP Alex Wallace, who is a a former “Nightly” EP, Williams talked about how the job “has always been about everybody else.”

The midweek anchor change — Dec. 2, 2004 was a Thursday night — came after many years of planning. Williams rode the bench, and frequently filled in for Tom Brokaw who’d been “Nightly News” anchor for 22 years.

“It is now our job from this day forward to endeavor each evening to put the finest work of this organization on the air,” said Williams, on his first night in the chair, (video after the jump). “We can do that best by working harder than anyone else, just the way Tom did for so many years.”

For the last five years, “Nightly News” has not been beaten in the ratings. The broadcast, however, has seen their A25-54 viewership — the one that matters most to advertisers — being chipped away by ABC’s “World News Tonight” and its new anchor David Muir. In the most recent week, Nov. 17, Williams’ broadcast reclaimed the top spot in that demo.

“I’m in the debt of everyone in this room and a lot of people who couldn’t be here, and it’s an extraordinary feeling,” Williams said to his team last night.

It’s a big week for Williams. His son Doug started a new job with “SportsNite” on SNY and, as he told his staff, on Thursday night, “I become the father of Peter Pan.”

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Network News Chiefs: ‘The audience ultimately will make the decision as to whether we are still relevant or capable or not’

At The Atlantic‘s Washington ideas Forum this afternoon, the magazine brought together the three networks news chiefs for a panel discussion. James Fallows spoke to NBC’s Steve Capus, ABC’s Ben Sherwood and CBS’ David Rhodes discussed the future of the evening newscasts, broadcast journalism’s relevance in an digital world, and what their organizations have planned for the future.

Fallows began the conversation with something of a loaded question, asking if the network newscasts should even exist in a world where news is available from a plethora of outlets, 24/7. Sherwood noted that the three evening newscasts saw higher ratings this year than they did last year.

“I still think they are incredibly important outlets and forums,” Capus said. “I disagree that it shouldn’t exist. You look at the size of the audiences that gather every night, they are still substantial.”

“It is true I was in cable for 15 years until February, but I think the one misnomer in the sort of dialogue about these newscasts or these news division is that credibility has become quaint” Rhodes added. “It has not.”

Capus was asked whether the politically polarizing network that he oversees, MSNBC, hurts NBC’s news credibility. He responded by arguing that no, it does not, but that the environment on cable news does not necessarily lend itself to good journalism.
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Dee Dee Thomas Named EP of Weekend ‘Today’

Photo: Twitter

NBC News has named Dee Dee Thomas executive producer of the weekend edition of “Today.” Thomas had been a senior producer for the 8 AM hour of NBC’s flagship morning news show, but started her career as a production assistant on the weekend edition of the program in 1993.

Thomas replaces Pat Burkey, who was elevated to EP of “NBC Nightly News” in July after serving as EP on the weekend editions of both “Nightly” and “Today.”

“Dee Dee has been an integral part of the senior leadership team here at “Today,” said “Today” EP Jim Bell in a statement. “She is a first-rate producer, and I am thrilled to see her return to the broadcast where she first began her career here at NBC News.”‬

More information in the official announcement, after the jump.

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Brian Williams: ‘Running ‘Nightly’ is a job I would wish on no one’

New ‘NBC Nightly News’ executive producer Pat Burkey — now three weeks into the job — is Brian Williams’ fifth e.p. in his tenure as anchor and managing editor.

Five e.p.’s in seven years? No big deal, says Williams.

“The last two [Alexandra Wallace, Bob Epstein] have gone on to become NBC vice presidents. Steve Capus became president of NBC News. A lot of [turnover] has been quirks of timing. Running ‘Nightly’ is a job I would wish on no one. There’s a lot of pressure to maintain our standing and standards. They are all friends of mine in life.

“Turnover is only good for the broadcast,” Williams tells TVNewser. “We’ve been blessed with a position of strength. We have to remain agile and introduce change. A ton of folks used our executive producer job as a springboard for much bigger things within the company.”

Speaking of exec producers, Williams gives high marks to BBC and CBS alum Rome Hartman, e.p. of his new fall newsmagazine.

“He’s a terrific guy,” Williams says. “We’re very alike – demographically, physically, age-wise. He’s a thorough grownup.”

As for juggling both shows, Williams, a self-described quick study, says he’s not worried. Travel “is a constant. There will always be travel.”

His prediction for the newsmag: “We know how to tell good stories. Lord knows we’ve got the horses.”

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.

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Bob Epstein Moves off ‘Nightly News,’ Named VP of NBC Specials; Pat Burkey to be named EP of ‘Nightly’

Bob Epstein, who has been executive producer of “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” for the last two-and-a-half years is moving to the NBC News specials unit as VP.

TVNewser has learned longtime NBC News producer Pat Burkey will be named EP of the show. An announcement could come as early as tomorrow.

Epstein, a former EP in the early days of MSNBC and later EP of Weekend “Nightly News” joins Mark Lukasiewicz, who has been promoted to Senior Vice President of NBC News specials.

Burkey is also a longtime NBC News employee, having been a senior producer on Williams’s MSNBC show “The News with Brian Williams.”

Currently, Burkey has oversight of Weekend “Today” and Weekend “Nightly News.”

Epstein leaves “Nightly” as he inherited it, as the #1 evening newscast.

> More: Internal email from Epstein to his staff, after the jump…

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Amy Chiaro Leaving the Today Show

Today show veteran producer Amy Chiaro is leaving the broadcast this week — and she’s getting her weekends back…sort of. Chiaro has been the senior broadcast producer of the Today show and the executive producer of Weekend Today. She is leaving to be the co-EP of the syndicated Dr. Oz which launches in the fall.

Weekend Today, like its weekday counterpart, is consistently #1 in the ratings. On Saturday Dec. 20, the show had its highest viewership since March; on Sunday, Dec. 21, Weekend Today delivered 4.1 million Total Viewers — 39% more than GMA Sunday.

Chiaro is the fourth supervising producer to leave the show in the last year. Noah Oppenheim left in May. Brian Balthazar left in July. And Amy Rosenblum was among those cut last December. In August, the Today show hired Noah Kotch from ABC News to be a senior producer on the broadcast.

> Update: Dee Dee Thomas takes over as supervising producer of Today and Pat Burkey steps in as EP of Weekend Today (in addition to EP of Weekend Nightly).