A new executive who is expected to function as a sort of chief executive for NBC’s venerable “Today” program will be joining the morning-TV franchise earlier than expected.

Jamie Horowitz, currently a vice president of original programming and production at ESPN, is slated to join NBC as senior vice president and general manager of “Today” on September 1, according to a person familiar with the situation. He had been expected to join the show after the end of 2014. He is filling a role previously held by NBC News’ Alexandra Wallace, who was in January placed in charge of NBC News’ Washington bureau and essentially made the number-two in the division to NBC News President Deborah Turness.

The hope at NBC is to put a person above the fray at “Today,” which constitutes a four-hour block of time every Monday through Friday, plus weekends. The general manager will be able to not only steer the direction of the program’s content, but also consider bigger questions, such as the show’s presence in new media. “Today” also has a popular website and is now being simulcast via XM Sirius Satellite Radio.

Don Nash, the executive producer of the program, will retain oversight of the program’s day-to-day operations.

“Today” represents a massive chunk of NBC’s TV output. Indeed, the program comprises more hours each week than are found in Fox’s entire primetime schedule. In 2013, the entire show snared more than $630 million in ad revenue in 2013, according to data from ad-spending tracker Kantar. CBS’ 2013 broadcast of Super Bowl XLVII, on the other hand, notched just $292 million, Kantar said.