NBC News has shaken up its executive structure, with “Today” executive producer Noah Oppenheim taking over as president and current head Deborah Turness becoming the first president of NBC News International, the network announced on Tuesday.
NBC News has launched a new venture will be called Euronews NBC, which the British Turness will oversee the NBC side of, reporting to NBC News chairman Andy Lack.
“I couldn’t be happier with our team, our recent successes, and the opportunities ahead. Please join me in congratulating Deborah and Noah, and wishing them both all the best in their new roles,” Lack said in an email to staffers.
“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 wrote. “In short: We believe we’ve found a unique international partner at a pivotal time in global news.”
Oppenheim will continue to lead the “Today” show, according to Lack’s memo but “take on oversight of all NBC News operations,” partnering with MSNBC’s boss Phil Griffin.
“I know you share my enthusiasm in congratulating Noah. He began his career here with ‘Hardball’ and then ‘Today.’ Since returning home to NBC News two years ago for his second tour of duty, Noah has done a fantastic job leading the ‘Today’ franchise. He has honed the broadcast, and audiences have rewarded us for it. ‘Today’ is back in first place and more powerful than ever,” Lack wrote.
The incoming president of NBC News is also the screenwriter for “Jackie,” the film starring Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy.
“I’ve been obsessed and fascinated with her since was a little kid,” Oppenheim told TheWrap founder Sharon Waxman last year.
Turness, who joined NBC News three and a half years ago, is credited by Lack for all four NBC News broadcasts finishing No. 1 among the key news demo of adults age 25-54 in 2016, something the network had not accomplished since 2011.
“Deborah has been integral to this process – she’s been my partner for several months in assessing the opportunity
and aligning our vision with Euronews,” Lack wrote. “She’s driven the news division on big scoops and exclusives and considerably upped our game on covering international news. Her commitment to ‘journalism with a capital J’ can be seen in the many prestigious awards NBC News has won in the last few years. She also led a massive overhaul of our systems and processes, just one of the many ways she has made us all better and brighter.”
Lack wrote, “Euronews was founded to cover world news from a European perspective” and “no other news organization in Europe brings together the diversity of views, across the continent, day in and day out.”
By teaming up with Euronews, NBC News will reach 277 million new households in thirteen languages across Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
“Upon closing this deal, NBC News Group will provide editorial resources, strategic guidance – and will have an ownership stake – to help build on the success Euronews has seen to date. We will invest in European journalism, strengthening the depth and pace of its reporting – which is rooted in each of the 164 countries where Euronews currently broadcasts. On digital we will co-brand and collaborate to enhance their existing digital products and editorial coverage – and ours,” Lack wrote.
Along with his NBC duties, Oppenheim is a screenwriter who most recently penned the script for the Oscar-nominated film “Jackie.”