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Posts Tagged ‘Steve Capus’

Photos: NBC News Anchors Toast Steve Capus

As we noted earlier this week, Monday was NBC News president Steve Capus‘ last day at the company. He was feted at a going-away party that night in 30 Rockefeller Plaza’s legendary Studio 8H, the home of “Saturday Night Live.”

With the “Saturday Night Live” band providing musical accompaniment, Capus was roasted by a number of colleagues, and presented with gifts, including a miniature NASCAR car emblazoned with his name. Capus, like “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams, is a huge NASCAR fan.

Capus had been with NBC for 20 years, joining affiliate news service NBC Newschannel in 1993.

Tom Brokaw toasts Steve Capus in NBC’s Studio 8H

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As Steve Capus Is Feted At Going Away Party, No Word On New NBC News President

Today was NBC News president Steve Capus‘ last day at NBC News.

Capus announced his departure just over a month ago in an email to staff, after 20 years with the company. TVNewser hears that he is being feted this evening at a party being held in 30 Rockefeller Plaza’s famed Studio 8H, the home of “Saturday Night Live” (more on that tomorrow).

With Capus’ departure, NBC News is without a chief, though Pat Fili-Krushel, the chairman of the NBC News Group–which includes NBC News, MSNBC, NBC News Digital and CNBC–is leading the search for Capus’ successor.  The News Group is holding a joint upfront presentation for media buyers and advertisers in a few weeks, so the announcement of a new leader could be on the way.

Longtime NBC News Foreign Correspondent Tom Aspell Dies

Tom Aspell, a veteran foreign correspondent for NBC News, died Monday from lung cancer. He was 62.

Aspell began his career in television as a scriptwriter and cameraman in 1970 and joined NBC News in 1985 as a Cyprus-based producer.

“From Southeast Asia to the Middle East… to the Balkans … to Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and dozens of other ‘hot spots,’ Aspell made his mark on behalf of NBC News for 28 years. To a person, all of his colleagues will tell you Tom was great company in the field who loved sharing stories at the end of a day spent documenting history,” NBC News president Steve Capus said in a note to staff.

On Tuesday’s “Nightly News,” Brian Williams described him as a journalist with “an intense brand of cool under fire.”

Capus’ full note is after the jump. Read more

Who’s In Line to Take Over at NBC News?

In his farewell note to staff, departing NBC News president Steve Capus writes, “I have much I hope to accomplish in the next phase of my career.” So, too, do the men and women vying to replace Capus. Capus says NBCU News group Chairman Pat Fili-Krushel “will be meeting with people throughout the division, and articulating her vision for the NBCUniversal News Group.”

There are strong internal candidates, some of whom, it has been announced by Fili-Krushel, will take on additional duties. Alex Wallace (above, right), who oversees “Today,” and “Rock Center” will now oversee “Nightly News,” where she was once EP. Wallace, who’s been with NBC since 2005, would be the first female news president after nine men have held the job since 1968.

Phil Griffin will likely be considered for the job. As president of MSNBC for the last 4 and a half years he has given the network an identity and boosted ratings, consistently topping CNN — a network his close friend Jeff Zucker now runs. A front office and internal concern would be the progressive programming on the network, often not in line with NBC News standards. Mark Hoffman, president of CNBC, cannot be ruled out. Nor can Capus’ deputy, Antoine Sanfuentes, (above, left) who will run day-to-day in the interim.

External candidates are also plentiful…

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Steve Capus Out At NBC News

NBC News president Steve Capus is out at the network, according to an internal memo obtained by TVNewser. In the memo, Capus said that it was his choice, and that he will stay on to help transition to the next leader.

Of course, it is an extremely difficult decision to walk away from a place that has been the backdrop for everything in my life since 1993. Twenty years ago this month, I was handed my first NBC News ID card by Sharon Houston and Cheryl Gould. What a thrill for this NASCAR-loving kid from suburban Philadelphia who aspired from a young age to be a DJ at a rock ‘n’ roll radio station.

Capus joined NBC in 1993, and was named president of the news division in 2005.

His full memo to NBC News staff is after the jump.

Update: Pat Fili-Krushel, the chairman of the NBC News Group, sent a note to staff as well, outlining the interim leadership roles until a replacement is named. It is also below.

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Zurawik: Chelsea Clinton NBC’s ‘Pretend Journalist’

Baltimore Sun TV critic David Zurawik takes aim at Chelsea Clinton in his latest Daily Download column, calling her a “pretend correspondent” at NBC News:

I continue to be fascinated by a network news division putting someone as outrageously unqualified as Clinton on a prime-time newsmagazine. I watched her again last week in a softer-than-soft piece on a weight loss program started by Pastor Rick Warren at his Saddleback Church, and I can say with absolute certainty that she has not improved one lick in the last year. In fact, I think she is worse than when she started this job for which NBC News President Steve Capus said “it’s as if she had been preparing her whole life.”

Final NBC News Crew Member Escapes Syria

The final member of the NBC News production team that had been kidnapped in Syria has escaped the country, NBC News says. In the firefight that resulted in NBC News correspondent Richard Engel and his team being freed, technician Ian Rivers was separated from his colleagues. His whereabouts were not known until today, and he has since crossed the border into Turkey where he will receive a medical evaluation.

NBC News president Steve Capus released his first statement on the incident:

“Now that Ian Rivers has been reunited with Richard Engel’s entire production team, all of us at NBC News can breathe a huge sigh of relief and express our deep appreciation to all who helped secure their freedom. At the same time, our thoughts and concerns are with those who remain missing inside Syria and we hope for their swift and safe release.”

Engel and two of his colleagues appeared on “Today,” yesterday morning.

Dissecting The Matt Lauer Blame Game

The Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz writes about Matt Lauer, and the pressure and criticism he has faced in the wake of “Today”,s ratings struggles and the maladroit departure of co-anchor Ann Curry.

NBC executives, including president Steve Capus, argue to Kurtz that the blame Lauer has faced is misplaced.

“The whole Ann transition really hurt us,” an NBC executive says. Lauer “was one of the few people who fought to do the transition in a different way—to take our time with it and not do it so rushed right before the Olympics. He wanted to do right by her, and we really didn’t.”

Capus confirms that “Matt had nothing to do with Ann’s reassignment. He does not make those types of decisions. There has been an incredible amount of misplaced blame on Matt.”

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NBCU News Group Chief Pat Fili-Krushel: ‘I have three strong business leaders running day-to-day’

NBC News Group chief Pat Fili-Krushel and NBC’s Andrea Mitchell.

Pat Fili-Krushel, Chairman of the NBC News Group, talks with the Wall Street Journal four months in to her new job overseeing NBCU’s portfolio of news networks. The former Lifetime, ABC and Time Warner executive does not have a news background, admitting, “I have three strong business leaders running day-to-day.”

Fili-Krushel is referring to NBC News president Steve Capus, MSNBC president Phil Griffin and CNBC chief Mark Hoffman. The WSJ writes, “Part of Ms. Fili-Krushel’s job will also be keeping the peace between executives accustomed to running their own fiefs.” Fili Krushel also oversaw last week’s change at the top of the “Today” show.

But for now, she says there won’t be any more “Today”-like turmoil in the months to come. At the moment, she’s on a bit of a listening tour.

“I’m spending a lot of time getting to know everyone,” she said. “I’m still in an exploration phase.”

Steve Capus On ‘Today’ Switch: ‘This was my call’

NBC News president Steve Capus responds to the New York Daily News, which reported Matt Lauer was behind the decision to elevate Don Nash at “Today,” instead of bringing on someone from outside the show like MSNBC producer Izzy Povich.

“Matt doesn’t make editorial decisions and he did not spike anything,” Capus told Kaplan.

“This was my call, I spoke to lots of talented people from both cable and network, and in the end went with someone I believed was best suited for the job,” said Capus.

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