Producer replaces Nathan who heads to 'Chris Matthews'

NBC News has tapped Betsy Fischer executive producer of “Meet the Press With Tim Russert.”

A senior producer of the leading Sunday morning public affairs program for the past three years, Fischer will replace Nancy Nathan, who’s leaving her post to become executive producer on “The Chris Matthews Show,” an NBC News production that will be distributed by NBC Enterprises.

Only a decade ago, Fischer was an intern at the net. Now she will head up production for the dean of Sunday poli-gabbers, which has been atop the ratings for 19 consecutive quarters.

Though Nathan’s move from network news to syndication seems unconventional, the jump could be potentially lucrative if she is a profit participant in the half-hour weekend skein, an arrangement that would never happen as an executive producer in broadcast.

According to one syndie exec, the Peacock will likely clear the Matthews show in access in Los Angeles and at all of its owned-and-operated stations.

“This is a very high priority for NBC — maintaining and growing Chris Matthews’ visibility,” said Bill Carroll, veepee of programming at station-rep firm Katz TV.

Matthews is the marquee anchor at cousin cabler MSNBC, where he hosts “Hardball” and will be the linchpin for its election coverage.

Both execs take their new jobs July 22.

There was also reshuffling in Washington on Thursday, with WMAL News Talk radio announcing that ABC correspondent Sam Donaldson would be hosting a new, live hour-long show. Program will air from 9-10 a.m.

In another hire, WMAL announced that Bill Press and Jane Norris will join the radio station’s “Morning News” with Andy Parks. Most recently, Press was a regular on CNN’s “Crossfire.”

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