Gumbel gets NBC’s Davis on board

If the background of the company’s first hire is any indication, news and how-to programs aimed at kids are on the drawing board at Bryant Gumbel’s new production venture with Eyemark Entertainment.

Gumbel, who partnered with Eyemark in March as part of his new pact with CBS, has named NBC News veteran Allison J. Davis senior VP for the still-unnamed company (Daily Variety, July 10). Davis worked closely with Gumbel at the Peacock web during Gumbel’s 15-year tenure as anchor of “Today.”

Most recently, Davis spearheaded NBC News’ activities in the new media arena, serving as executive producer of original content for the MSNBC website. In 1992, Davis launched “Scholastic/NBC News Video,” a partnership with textbook publisher Scholastic Inc. that distributed NBC News programming to schools nationwide.

In announcing Davis’ appointment, Gumbel noted, “Her particular interest in developing innovative news and information programs for young people sits nicely with part of what we’d like to accomplish.” Gumbel’s deal with CBS/Eyemark calls for him to produce three primetime specials a year, in addition to syndie series projects.

Before joining NBC in 1981, Davis worked as a producer and reporter for local stations WBZ Boston and KDKA Pittsburgh. Davis is a founding member of the National Assn. of Black Journalists.

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