You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Today’ Chief Noah Oppenheim Named NBC News President

Noah Oppenheim is moving from overseeing the biggest program at NBC News to running much of the overall franchise.

NBC News Group chairman Andrew Lack has named Oppenheim the new president of NBC News. Deborah Turness, who has run NBC News since mid 2013, will become president of NBC News International, a new European-focused operation created as the result of an NBC News investment in Euronews, a European news service headquartered in France. NBC News will take a 25 percent ownership stake in the company.

“We plan to marry the power of the NBC News brand and the talent of our people with a formidable news asset in Europe in order to create an international offering that will strengthen our news organization and change the landscape of international news,” Lack said in a memo to staffers issued Tuesday. “By joining forces with Euronews and their nearly 500 journalists, our audience on the broadcast network, on MSNBC and our digital platforms will benefit from a greatly expanded news gathering capability. And we will reach 277 million new households in thirteen languages across Europe, Africa and the Middle East.”

The Euronews partnership will give NBC News more overseas heft at a time when the unit is trying to transform cable outlet MSNBC into a source of hard-news programming. Lack said NBC News Group would provide editorial resources and strategic guidance to Euronews and collaborate on digital efforts as well. Financial terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.

Under Turness’ aegis, NBC News survived a series of wrenching episodes, including the departure of Brian Williams at “NBC Nightly News” and David Gregory at “Meet the Press.” During her tenure, “Today” rebounded from playing second fiddle to ABC’s “Good Morning America” to recapturing the lead in the demographic most coveted by advertisers, people between 25 and 54. All four of the news division’s flagships — “Today,” “Dateline,” “Meet the Press,” and “NBC Nightly News” — finished 2016 in the lead in both overall viewers and the ad demo.

Oppenheim, who returned to NBC News in early 2015 to supervise the many hours of  “Today,” is widely credited with turning the show in a newsier direction, after the program floundered in the ratings by attempting to emulate the breezier feel of its ABC rival. Under Oppenheim, who had been a senior vice president tasked with overseeing four hours of “Today” during the week and more on weekends, the program changed its format, giving more emphasis to co-anchors Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie, while removing some elements like the role of news reader that had previously been inhabited by Natalie Morales.

Oppenheim will face new challenges almost immediately, including the daytime launch of a new hour led by former Fox News Channel primetime anchor Megyn Kelly. He iwill continue to lead “Today,” Lack said in the memo, while working with MSNBC chief Phil Griffin and NBC News Digital head Nick Aschiem.


Popular on Variety

More TV

  • David Goodman

    WGA West's David Goodman on Agency Strategy: 'We'll Start Meeting as Soon as Possible'

    David Goodman, who was resoundingly re-elected president of the Writers Guild of America West on Monday, said the guild plans to meet with several talent agencies soon in an effort to ease the impasse over packaging fees and affiliated production. “Many agencies had indicated that they wanted to wait to see the results of the [...]

  • THE TITAN GAMES -- "The Titan

    'Titan Games' Renewed for Season 2 at NBC

    NBC has renewed the Dwayne Johnson-hosted competition series “The Titan Games” for a second season. The series features men and women battling opponents in head-to-head physical challenges designed by Johnson. Winners advance to Mt. Olympus, a test of speed, strength, agility and endurance. “When we launched ‘The Titan Games,’ we set out to create an [...]

  • David Goodman

    David Goodman Re-Elected President of Writers Guild of America West

    David Goodman has been convincingly re-elected to a two-year term as president of the Writers Guild of America West, beating Phyllis Nagy in a bitter contest that became a referendum on the guild’s ongoing battle with talent agents. Goodman received 4,395 votes to Nagy’s 1,282 in an election that yielded record turnout among the WGA [...]

  • first wives club BET

    TV Review: 'The First Wives Club' on BET Plus

    Launching a series based on a beloved property is harder than it seems. On the one hand, you get the immediate boost of name recognition to lure in preexisting fans. On the other, straying too far from the plot and/or spirit of the original risks sparking their righteous wrath. It’s a tricky balance to strike, [...]

  • Thomas Golubic GMS Conference

    Guild of Music Supervisors President: 'The Economics of the Job Don't Work Anymore'

    The Guild of Music Supervisors (GMS) hosted its 5th annual “State of Music in Media” conference on Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Los Angeles Film School. Featuring a wide array of panel discussions on all manner of issues related to music in film, television and advertising, the confab drew top composers, music supervisors, licensing and [...]

  • Christopher Eccleston Anorexia

    Christopher Eccleston Reveals He Was 'Very Ill' With Anorexia While Filming 'Doctor Who'

    “Doctor Who” actor Christopher Eccleston has opened up about his anorexia, body dysmorphia and suicidal thoughts. Eccleston, who played the ninth incarnation of the Doctor, made the revelations in his forthcoming autobiography “I Love the Bones of You: My Father and the Making of Me.” “Many times I’ve wanted to reveal that I’m a lifelong [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content