Jenn Suozzo, a veteran NBC News producer who has been working as the top producer at “NBC Nightly News,” will step away from the broadcast and is expected to be the latest high-profile TV-news executive to join CNN’s new CNN Plus streaming service, according to a person familiar with the matter.
CNN and NBC News declined to comment on where Suozzo may be headed but the role is expected to be a senior one, according to this person. In a memo to staffers, NBC News President Noah Oppenheim said Suozzo was ready to “pursue a new venture outside the company.”
If a deal is finalized, Suozzo would be the second prominent NBC News staffer to decamp to the CNN streaming outlet, which is slated to debut in early 2022. The WarnerMedia outlet has said it intends to hire dozens of new staffers for the new streaming service in a bid to compete in a new media world where more consumers are migrating to on-demand video, rather than getting all of their video entertainment through linear TV stations and traditional cable or satellite services. Kasie Hunt, an NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent who was seen as an up-and-coming anchor, recently struck a deal with CNN to anchor a daily program for CNN Plus and to provide analysis on stories of national import.
Suozzo leaves as NBC’s evening news broadcast, led by Lester Holt, faces a formidable foe. ABC’s “World News Tonight,” anchored by David Muir, has dominated the evening-news field both in terms of overall viewership as well as in the audience demographic favored most by advertisers, people between 25 and 54. In the past two weeks, boosted by NBCUniversal’s Tokyo Olympics coverage, “Nightly” won more viewers in the advertiser demo. The NBC evening newscast has also seen its viewership of full episodes increase on YouTube.
“Jenn’s been a fixture in our control rooms, covering virtually every breaking and major news event from the past two decades, including the Miracle on the Hudson, the Boston Marathon bombing manhunt, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Michael Jackson’s death, tornado outbreaks, six presidential elections, and more,” Oppenheim wrote in a memo to staffers Wednesday. “Her roots at NBC run deep, and her passion and commitment to shining a light on important topics has been second to none, earning her multiple awards, including Emmys and the Edward R. Murrow.” One of Suozzo’s first big roles at NBC News was working as the first executive producer of Andrea Mitchell’s long-running program, now known as “Andrea Mitchell Reports.”
Meghan Rafferty is expected to serve as interim executive producer at “NBC Nightly News” on August 16, according to Oppenheim.