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Posts Tagged ‘Steve Capus’

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.

Don Nash Named EP of ‘Today’

Following the news that Jim Bell would be leaving NBC’s “Today” for a job at NBC Olympics, the network has promoted senior broadcast producer Don Nash to executive producer of the long-running morning program. Nash will report to Alex Wallace, who will serve as executive in charge of the program.

Nash is a 23-year veteran of “Today,” and started his career as an NBC Page at the network’s Burbank studios in 1989. He moved to New York in 1999 to become a senior producer for “Today,” and has been senior broadcast producer since 2005.

“Don Nash deserves to be at the helm of ‘Today,’” NBC News president Steve Capus said in a statement. “He is a beloved member of the Today family who brings vision, commitment and a deep familiarity to all aspects of the broadcast. The formidable individual talents of Alex, Don and the ‘Today’ leadership are now combined and I’m confident our team is well positioned for success.”

More information below.

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Jim Bell Leaving ‘Today,’ Returning to NBC Sports

Jim Bell, the executive producer of the “Today” show will be leaving his post and returning to his roots at NBC Sports. The New York TimesBrian Stelter reports the change is the beginning of a series of events yet to come that will reconfigure the executive ranks of the NBC program seven months after it lost its spot as the most-watched morning show and after the tumultuous summer exit of co-anchor Ann Curry.

Stelter reports NBC News Group chairman Pat Fili-Krushel is likely to appoint NBC News SVP Alex Wallace as the executive in charge of the four-hour program, while looking for top producers for the first and second two-hour blocks. Wallace, who has worn several hats in her 7 years at NBC News, was just named EP of “Rock Center with Brian Williams.” She is a former “Weekend Today” and “Nightly News” EP and was, until the appointment at “Rock Center,” second-in-command to NBC News president Steve Capus.

Sources tell us no deals have been signed and no internal announcements made. Don Nash, a 24 year “Today” veteran and now senior broadcast producer will likely stay on.

Bell will transition off the show as the year draws to a close. He has been EP of “Today” since 2005, joining from the Sports division. Bell was tapped to oversee NBC’s record-breaking coverage of the London Olympic Games and is expected to do the same for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia in 2014 and the Rio Summer games in 2016.

Democracy Plaza Readies For Its Close-Up

For the third-straight Presidential election, NBC is turning the skating rink and Rockefeller Plaza around it, into its election news hub “Democracy Plaza.” An outline of the United States lies a half inch under the ice, and will be filled in as each state goes red for Romney or blue for Obama. Red and blue curtains will rise up 30 Rock as electoral votes are counted — the 16th floor is the crucial 270 mark. And for the first time, Democracy Plaza will serve as a hub for all the NBC News outlets, with NBC, MSNBC, Telemundo and CNBC all either anchoring or having a presence there tonight.

“We don’t just have the broadcast channel, we have the cable channel, we don’t do two hours of the “Today” show, we do four, and when you come to Democracy Plaza, we are not just doing election coverage, we are doing all of this,” NBC News president Steve Capus told TVNewser last night, as he signaled toward the rink. “I think it is a great focal point for the culmination of two years of politicking that has brought us to this point.”

There are two elevated temporary studios overlooking the ice rink, one of which will be used by NBC News and the other by MSNBC. Just off the rink, next to the statue of Prometheus, is an outdoor studio, where Tamron Hall (warmly dressed, one hopes) will be based. Hall will walk out to the rink throughout the night, presenting storylines based on exit polls using augmented reality, much like the first down lines in televised football games. There is also another smaller studio by the rink for guests, in addition to those on the 3rd floor of 30 Rock, where NBC News programs originate.

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Steve Capus on Politicians Using News Clips in Ads: ‘This has to stop. It’s Not Fair. It’s Just Lazy’

NBC News took home its fourth consecutive Edward R. Murrow “Overall Excellence” award. CBS Radio News correspondent Cami McCormack presented NBC News president Steve Capus with the award at last night’s black tie dinner.

“This kind of recognition is not one that we at NBC News take for granted,” said Capus, adding, “nothing in this business should be taken for granted.”

Capus also “respectfully” asked the campaigns to stop using news clips in their campaign ads, a practice which continues even today.

“We’ve seen the campaigns take advantage of and misrepresent journalists in their advertisements,” said Capus. “This has to stop. It’s not fair, it’s just lazy.” Capus’ remarks:

ABC News earned three Murrow Awards -– Video Breaking News Coverage, Video Continuing Coverage and Video Reporting: Hard News. CBS News won awards for Video Feature Reporting and Video Investigative Reporting.

NBC News Shakes Up Management Team, New EP at ‘Rock Center’

NBC News has shaken up its leadership team, promoting DC bureau chief Antoine Sanfuentes (left) to senior VP of NBC News, promoting David Verdi to senior VP of newsgathering, upping Ken Strickland to DC bureau chief and naming Alex Wallace (center) EP of “Rock Center.” For Wallace, it’s a return to overseeing a Brian Williams broadcast. Wallace was EP of “Nightly News” in 2007-2008.

Rome Hartman, (right) the former longtime CBS News producer who launched “Rock Center” as EP, will be shifting to the specials unit with a focus on election coverage.

Announcing the changes, NBC News president Steve Capus highlighted that the new executive ranks all came from inside NBC.

As you read the list of promotions and changes spelled out in this note, please keep in mind I’ve decided to stay inside our talent-rich organization for each of these moves – a real testament to the contributions of these individuals and the bench strength of NBC News.

Sanfuentes, who joined NBC News as a desk assistant in 1990, rose through the producer and executive ranks and was named DC bureau chief in January 2011. In his new role he will be Capus’ chief deputy at NBC News in New York. Wallace, who had been Capus #2, will remain a senior VP and will add oversight of “Rock Center” as well as “Ann Curry’s production unit and our health initiative.”

Verdi, a longtime NBC Newser, who had been VP of newsgathering, is now a senior VP, adding oversight of news affiliate partnerships and the NBC News Channel.

Joining Strickland in DC will be Meaghan Rady, once a producer for Tom Brokaw, who rose through the ranks and will now be deputy bureau chief.

“I’m grateful to Rome for his leadership, signified by Rock Center’s first Emmy last week for Bob Costas’ breakthrough interview with Jerry Sandusky,” Capus writes in his note, which you can read in full after the jump.

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