NBC digs into probing news

Cabler MSNBC likely to air some of the unit's output

NEW YORK — In the wake of 9/11 fallout and corporate chicanery, NBC News has set up an investigative reporting unit.

Headed by former congressional correspondent Lisa Myers, the stand-alone team will contribute to Peacock news programs including “Nightly News,” “Dateline NBC” and “Today.” Cousin cabler MSNBC also likely will air some of the unit’s output.

“The war on terrorism is definitely a subsection of what we want to do,” said NBC News prexy Neal Shapiro, who would not elaborate on future projects. “But part of the fun is not knowing where it will lead.”

Myers’ unit, which will be overseen by Shapiro and D.C. bureau chief Tim Russert, will compete with ABC’s, which was formally established almost immediately after the terrorist attacks.

Isham in charge

Helmed by chief of investigative projects Christopher Isham, the Alphabet unit’s coverage of the 9/11 aftermath garnered many laurels at the news Emmys and Peabody Awards.

CBS also had a stand-alone investigative unit, but folded it in 1999.

While an investigations unit is considered a luxury for a news division because of its high operating costs, it can boost a news org’s prestige.

Myers most recently spearheaded the Peacock’s coverage of the Enron scandal and broke the story that then-Texas Governor George W. Bush had chosen Richard B. Cheney as his running mate for the 2000 election.

NBC political correspondent Norah O’Donnell will replace Myers as congressional correspondent.

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