Boosting the brand

NBC looks to vet Cascio to build up cable ops

Veteran A&E exec Michael Cascio has joined NBC News as VP, cable programming development.

Cascio, who was senior VP, programming at A&E, is credited with developing the cable network’s signature “Biography” series.

In his new role, he will oversee taped programming at NBC News’ cable properties, including MSNBC’s “Headliners & Legends With Matt Lauer” and “Time & Again.” He will also supervise “National Geographic Explorer” for CNBC.

“His strengths as a television programmer will be a significant asset to MSNBC and other NBC News cable outlets as we continue to pursue new programming opportunities,” said Erik Sorenson, VP and general manager, MSNBC.

Cascio will likely spend the bulk of his time trying to create recognizable brands on MSNBC. Although the joint venture between Microsoft and NBC is in more than 52 million cable homes, it hasn’t yet established a personality of its own. The network has fumbled in its programming strategies and has fallen behind rival Fox News Channel in primetime ratings.

“I think (MSNBC) is doing a terrific job. They want to create even more recognizable and popular programming and I’m excited to be a part of that,” said Cascio, who will start his job at NBC News in December. Brooke Bailey Johnson, exec VP, A&E, will temporarily take over Cascio’s daily duties until a replacement is named.

Cascio joined A&E in 1990 as director of documentary production in 1990. Previously, he was exec producer and director of public affairs for the Capital Cities/ABC-owned WPVI-TV in Philadelphia. He also held posts at WHYY-TV in Wilmington, Del., the New Jersey Network and WNET New York.

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