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NBC News Taps Former CNN Exec Chris Berend as Head of Digital

He replaces Nick Ascheim who will lead digital and product for NBCU and NBC News Group broadly

CNN’s SVP of global video Chris Berend is heading to NBC News, where he will oversee the division’s digital efforts. He will be replacing the news organization’s current head of digital Nick Ascheim, who will work on improving digital and product for NBCU and NBC News Group broadly, according to the company.

Berend starts in July and will report to the president of NBC News, Noah Oppenheim. In the meantime, he will continue to work at CNN, where he oversees all digital video content, breaking news, feature content and original premium series. Berend is credited for helping launch CNN’s Great Big Story, a streaming-video site aimed at younger audiences. Going forward, the unit will be led by Courtney Coupe, who was appointed as head of Great Big Story in February.

Prior to his time at CNN, Berend served as head of development and production at Bloomberg Media and also worked in content development at ESPN. Before that he worked as a journalist for Esquire.

“He has a sharp eye for product and a fantastic sense of the business and editorial demands of digital news,” NBC News Group chairman Andy Lack said in a memo to staff.

“With Nick moving on, I’ve been giving a good deal of thought to the next steps in the evolution of our Digital efforts,” Lack continued. “Specifically, how can we further our goal of always putting ‘story first’ while fully integrating our television, digital video, and text journalism into one unified structure within NBC News? As I said at our town hall meeting last Fall, it’s a mindset and a cultural shift, but one we are uniquely capable of achieving,” Lack added.