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Posts Tagged ‘Alex Wallace’

NBC News Centralizes Guest Bookings

NBCPeacockNBC News president Deborah Turness has named Matt Zimmerman VP of booking. Zimmerman will head up a new consolidated booking unit, reporting to Turness. Zimmerman has been the senior booking producer at “Today” for the last five years, where he will continue to devote much of his time.

“[G]iven that we live in an increasingly competitive environment, it is crucial that we leverage our scale and mount a highly coordinated effort to get the big prizes,” writes Turness in a note to staff.

Additionally, Aretha Marshall, a 16-year NBC News veteran who has worked at “Dateline” as well as for Peacock Productions will become senior EP of Special Projects, reporting to Alex Wallace. Marshall will work with the new booking unit on big newsmaker and personality bookings for “Nightly News” and “Meet the Press.”

Turness’s note on the changes, after the jump…

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David Gregory: ‘I See Speculation Out There,’ NBC News Backs Him as ‘Our Guy’

Gregory, David 09.grid-4x2David Gregory has heard the rumors about being ousted as moderator of “Meet the Press,” but chalks it up to being just part of the business.

“This comes with the territory. I understand it,” Gregory tells The Huffington Post. “I see speculation out there. I just try to pay attention to the stuff I know is real.”

Huffington Post also spoke with Alex Wallace, who took on oversight of “Meet the Press” in January. She doubled down on Gregory:

“I cannot be more declarative about David — [he] is our guy, is going to be our guy, and we are really happy with him,” said Wallace in her first interview since adding the Sunday show to her portfolio. “I know there continues to be lots of hubbub, but I’m in every single meeting: There is no internal hubbub.”

Last week, NBC News President Deborah Turness held a meeting with Gregory and his EP to discuss the state of the show. This past Sunday, “Meet the Press” was in third place, losing ground year-over-year in total viewers, down -6%.

NBC News Close to Filling ‘Today’ SVP Job

Remember that org chart that NBC News boss Deborah Turness shared a couple weeks ago — this one, with the gaping hole where the SVP of the “Today” show should be.

nbc-news-senior-leadership-team

Well, according to Deadspin, the network is close to filling that gap. Sources tell the site ESPN vice president Jamie Horowitz is in talks with NBC. Insiders tell TVNewser, Horowitz isn’t the only candidate Turness is talking to for the job, which came open when Alex Wallace‘s duties shifted to the DC bureau and “Nightly News.” Horowitz, who worked for NBC previously in the Olympics unit, is currently under contract. At ESPN, he has overseen several shows and talent, including former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann.

Alex Wallace Adds Oversight of NBC’s Washington Bureau

WallaceNBC News president Deborah Turness is making more changes at the executive level. In the latest shakeup, Alex Wallace is adding oversight of the network’s Washington bureau and “Meet the Press.”

Under the new leadership structure, Washington bureau chief Ken Strickland and “Meet the Press” executive producer Rob Yarin will both report to Wallace. Wallace has also been formally named Turness’ deputy.

“This is a pivotal role as we focus our efforts on being number one on every platform and on transforming our premium TV brands into premium digital properties,” Turness wrote in a memo to NBC staffers. “Alex is uniquely placed to unlock the multi-platform future of ‘Nightly News,’ and to make ‘Meet the Press’ a 7 days-a-week source for politics and beltway buzz.”

Turness is on the lookout for a general manager at the SVP level for the “Today” show, a person who will be tasked with driving “greater cooperation between all parts of the brand.”

The executive changes come as part of Turness’ plan to “future-proof the entire organization,” which she called “a Herculean task for the leadership team.” Turness is also planning broader collaboration between the television and digital production teams. “Together, we will win on all platforms,” she writes.

The full memo from Turness, as well as a chart of the new NBC News leadership structure, is after the jump. Read more

The PM Ticker: Women, Wheelock, Wheels Up

  • Al Jazeera America has named Bob Wheelock senior executive producer. Wheelock joins AJAM from Al Jazeera English, where he was EP of newsgathering for the Americas.

  • The CNN Airport Network, which provides content on TV screens at airports across the nation, is adding TBS’ “Conan” and HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” to its lineup. Conan O’Brien and CNN president Jeff Zucker have a long and illustrious history, as you may recall.

Whither ‘Rock Center’?

The Hollywood Reporter‘s Marisa Guthrie examines the troubles facing the NBC broadcast network. The bulk of the story focused on the entertainment ratings falling without a bona fide hit on its schedule, but there is a gossipy NBC News hook too.

Guthrie mentions “Rock Center’”s move to Friday nights, a place where TV entertainment shows often go to die (though TV news shows have been a staple there for years). She also mentions the self-mocking piece the show did about the long, arduous journey to Fridays.

But NBC brass might have upset Williams with the move. He closed Rock Center on Feb. 8 with a segment characterizing Friday as its “latest resting place.” Sources at NBC News say Williams was angered that Burbank execs did not give the show the promised promotion, while plans to expand it to multiple weekly airings have been abandoned.

It is safe to assume that without catching on with viewers, a better timeslot or multiple airings were always going to be unlikely. The Huffington Post gets a response from NBC News executive Alex Wallace, who noted the parodical nature of the segment, and that the show delivered very strong ratings in its Friday debut.

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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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Wallace, Kelly, Harris-Perry Crack ‘Elle’ TV Power List

Elle magazine has released its 2013 “Powerful Women in TV” power list, and three TV news faces made the cut.

Representing behind the scenes, NBC News senior VP Alex Wallace made the list. On-camera, Fox News Channel anchor Megyn Kelly was featured, as was MSNBC weekend host Melissa Harris-Perry. Other women on the list incude MTV programming chief Susanne Daniels and comedian Whitney Cummings.

You can check out the full power list here.

‘Today’ EP Don Nash: ‘We Hate Being Number two’

New “Today” executive producer Don Nash speaks to B&C’s Andrea Morabito (subscription required). Nash touches upon his new boss, Alex Wallace, what tweaks they will make to the “Today” format, and of course, chemistry and ratings:

How do you feel about the chemistry among your current hosts? 

I feel like there’s an awesome chemistry between all seven of our anchors. I think this is a group that genuinely likes to be around each other, and we all have the same goal in mind, which is just to do a great show every morning. It is among the most functional onair teams I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen a lot of different teams come and go on this show, but this group is clicking like I’ve never seen a group click before, and I truly mean that. And I think, unfortunately, a lot of that is getting lost in some of the snarky press that we’re reading about.

Has that been motivating to the staff? 

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Jim Bell Talks About Olympics Gig

Former NBC “Today” EP Jim Bell talks to Sports Business Daily about his jump to running NBC’s Olympics coverage full-time. Bell just returned from a trip to Sochi, Russia, one of many he will make in advance of the 2014 games. Bell left “Today” this week, and was replaced by Alex Wallace as executive in charge of the program and Don Nash as EP.

Q: Why do you want this job?
Bell: Part of it goes back to being a kid and watching the Olympics, as an 11 year old, watching the Miracle on Ice. The global aspect of it is particularly appealing to me. Particularly at a time when the world could use its share of positive moments, the Olympics are a particularly great example of the world coming together. That may sound trite to some. But having done my share of Olympics, it doesn’t to me.

Bell also talked about leaving “Today”:
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