NBC News president Noah Oppenheim is leaving his role in a major leadership restructure

NBC News president Noah Oppenheim is leaving his role in a major leadership restructure at the network – as three female execs including the New York Times’ Rebecca Blumenstein are set to take his place

  • NBC News president Noah Oppenheim is exiting as part of a network restructure
  • Three executives will replace Oppenheim – including Rebecca Blumenstein
  • She will inherit many of Oppenheim, NBC president since 2017’s, responsibilities
  • Blumenstein was working as a deputy managing editor at The New York Times

NBC News president Noah Oppenheim is exiting the network after five years as it undergoes a major restructuring of its leadership. 

Three female executives will replace Oppenheim, including Rebecca Blumenstein who was working as a deputy managing editor at the New York Times and will become the new president of editorial for NBC News.

Blumenstein, who has a lengthy history working in print and digital but lacks experience in television news, will take the helm at NBC News at a time of ‘ongoing evolution of technology and consumer habits.’

She will oversee a more limited version of Oppenheim’s repertoire focusing on much of the network’s programming – the ‘Today’ franchise and ‘Nightly News’ moving under the purview of Cesar Conde, president of NBCUniversal News Group.

Oppenheim leaves his post after six years in the top job and led NBC News through the former U.S. president Donald Trump's term and informed staff that he will return to 'writing and producing TV and movies,' which, besides news, Oppenheim described as his 'other love'

Oppenheim leaves his post after six years in the top job and led NBC News through the former U.S. president Donald Trump’s term and informed staff that he will return to ‘writing and producing TV and movies,’ which, besides news, Oppenheim described as his ‘other love’

NBC News president Noah Oppenheim is exiting the network since being appointed in 2017. Three executives will replace him, including Rebecca Blumenstein (pictured), who was working as a deputy managing editor at the New York Times

NBC News president Noah Oppenheim is exiting the network since being appointed in 2017. Three executives will replace him, including Rebecca Blumenstein (pictured), who was working as a deputy managing editor at the New York Times

Conde announced Blumenstein’s appointment on Wednesday paying homage to her illustrious career at the NYT. 

‘At The Times, Blumenstein led an expansion and elevation of business, technology and economic news, and helped to drive the digital transformation of the organization,’ the release states.

‘Prior to that, she held a variety of leadership positions at The Wall Street Journal over a 21-year tenure at the organization, including Deputy Editor-in-chief, Page One editor, International Editor and editor of WSJ.com, steering coverage that won many of the profession’s top awards.’ 

To capitalize on the Group’s leadership position Conde also announced that the Group’s leadership would be reorganized. 

Libby Leist joins the leadership team as Executive Vice President of ‘Today’ and Lifestyle. 

Janelle Rodriguez, who has overseen the creation of NBC News’s streaming service, was also announced to be joining the leadership team as Executive Vice President of  NBC News NOW, as she continues to build out the streaming news network. 

As part of the reorganization, Blumenstein, Leist and Rodriguez will report to Conde.

‘The appointments of Rebecca, Libby and Janelle provide a powerful foundation for the News Group as it continues to grow its leadership position,’ Conde said. 

Libby Leist (left) will also join the leadership team with Janelle Rodriguez, and is seen here with Oppenheim (second from left), Rashida Jones and Ed Fisher (both right)

Libby Leist (left) will also join the leadership team with Janelle Rodriguez, and is seen here with Oppenheim (second from left), Rashida Jones and Ed Fisher (both right) 

The outgoing news president is said to have struck a production deal with NBCUniversal. Jackie, 2016, pictured

He wrote major blockbusters like Jackie, 2016, and Maze Runner, 2014

The outgoing news president is said to have struck a production deal with NBCUniversal after screenwriting major blockbusters like Jackie, 2016, and Maze Runner, 2014

‘NBC News, together with CNBC and MSNBC and through our many programs and platforms, reaches more Americans than any other news organization. 

‘The extraordinary accomplishments of Rebecca, Libby and Janelle and their visions will keep us on the path of continued success, delivering the highest quality journalism in the United States and around the world.’

Blumenstein said that the evolving media landscape is a challenge she is excited to take on. 

‘I look forward to building on the deep journalistic foundation at NBC news to help NBC News achieve its ambitions,’ she said.

‘I have loved every minute of working at The Times and learned so much working with many of the best journalists in the world.’

Oppenheim leaves his post after six years in the top job, though he won’t be going far according to the release. 

The outgoing news president is said to have struck a production deal with NBCUniversal after screenwriting major blockbusters like Jackie, 2016, and Maze Runner, 2014.

He led NBC News through the former U.S. president Donald Trump’s term and informed staff that he will return to ‘writing and producing TV and movies,’ which, besides news, Oppenheim described as his ‘other love.’ 

‘We are grateful for Noah’s leadership during such an important time, both for us and our profession, and look forward to continuing to work with him in his new role,’ Conde said.

Oppenheim was named president after two years as executive in charge of ‘Today.’ 

Under his leadership, NBC News has deepened its pursuit of original journalism, significantly expanded its digital newsroom and launched several specialized editorial units focusing on issues ranging from business and technology to climate and election security.

Cesar Conde, president of NBCUniversal News Group, made the announcement on Wednesday

Cesar Conde, president of NBCUniversal News Group, made the announcement on Wednesday 

Tiffany Cross, who hosted Cross Connection, was terminated after repeatedly causing controversy, such as declaring the country was in a 'civil war'

Tiffany Cross, who hosted Cross Connection, was terminated after repeatedly causing controversy, such as declaring the country was in a ‘civil war’

Cross previously made the comments declaring 'civil war' as she filled in for Joy-Ann Reid, pictured, on Reid's show The Reidout

Cross previously made the comments declaring ‘civil war’ as she filled in for Joy-Ann Reid, pictured, on Reid’s show The Reidout

The reorganization comes during a fraught time for the NBC newsroom, which is bracing for widespread layoffs amid industry-wide belt-tightening.

In early Nov 2022, MSNBC cut ties with controversial news show host Tiffany Cross, who repeatedly spouted anti-conservative rhetoric such as declaring the nation was in a ‘civil war.’ 

Cross, 43, was just one of the big-name firings at the network, as LGBTQ anchor Shepard Smith saw his show The News with Shepard Smith canceled the same week.

While Smith’s departure reflects efforts by CNBC to increase business-related news on the network, Cross’ termination comes after multiple attempts to tone down her rhetoric.

Cross once blasted Meghan McCain over her remarks on identity politics and said The View host should be fired because her only talent is ‘benefiting from nepotism and black hairstylists’. 

In 2021, she revealed she worries about her brother, a truck driver, whenever he hits the roads, because it ‘feels like a dangerous industry.’ 

‘This is an industry populated by a lot of white men over the age of 55,’ Cross said. 

‘This group of people overwhelmingly voted for Trump.’

The firings appear to contradict previous pledges made by Conde about diversifying the anchors shown on the network. 

NBCUniversal started the NBCU Academy, a journalism training and development program for four-year university and community college students that gives them valuable insight via hands-on experience with the network’s journalists. 

The Academy is working in conjunction with 17 different academic institutions that primarily serve minority communities. 

‘We started the NBCU Academy to help bring more people into the industry from communities that may have been overlooked in the past,’ said Conde in 2021. 

‘Cesar Conde pledged 50 percent diversity – awfully hypocritical to oust prominent gay and Black anchors within 24 hours of each other,’ said the network source.

Shepard Smith, who hosted The News with Shepard Smith, saw his show cancelled as new CNBC boss KC Sullivan turned the network towards more business news last year

Shepard Smith, who hosted The News with Shepard Smith, saw his show cancelled as new CNBC boss KC Sullivan turned the network towards more business news last year

New CNBC President KC Sullivan released a statement after cancelling Smith's show, and said the network needs to 'further invest in business news content'

New CNBC President KC Sullivan released a statement after cancelling Smith’s show, and said the network needs to ‘further invest in business news content’

Smith left Fox News in October 2019. He's seen here in Time Square in 2020 after he landed his job with CNBC

Smith left Fox News in October 2019. He’s seen here in Time Square in 2020 after he landed his job with CNBC 

Since Cesar established the diversity initiative, more than 20 people from diverse representations have been tapped to anchor and host programs across the News Group, including Alex Wagner, Joy Reid, Tom Llamas, Symone Sanders, Ali Velshi, Mehdi Hasan, Katie Phang. 

But new CNBC President KC Sullivan seemed to have other plans, as he quickly fired one of the most prominent LGBTQ news anchors in the country. 

Smith departed Fox News in 2019 following a feud with one of the network’s premiere anchors, Tucker Carlson.

Carlson had brought on a guest on his show who said Fox’s Andrew Napolitano was a ‘fool’ for analysis offered on Smith’s show. Smith said on the air that Carlson’s attack was repugnant and Carlson later mocked him for it. 

During his time there he also faced repeated taunts from Donald Trump as he was one of the network’s few critics of the president.

Sullivan sent a memo to staffers at the network – indicating programming would be shifting to business and finance news, subsequently cancelling Smith’s show.

Sullivan was formerly president and managing director of NBCUniversal’s global advertising and partnerships for nearly two years, according to CNBC.   

‘We need to further invest in business news content that provides our audiences actionable understanding of the complex developments in global markets and the implications on institutions, investors and individuals,’ said Sullivan.

CNBC reassured that the shifts, including the decision to replace Smith’s show, was not due to budget cuts but rather ‘strategic in nature,’ the news group said.   

‘During times of flux and uncertainty, our place in the lives of those we touch on-air, online and in person becomes even clearer, and more essential,’ Sullivan added.

Sullivan apparently thought Smith’s general news show was not doing enough for the network, despite him admitting the show ‘increased CNBC’s 7pm viewership average and attracted the most affluent audience of any primetime cable news program.’

‘Decisions like these are not arrived at hastily or taken lightly. I believe this decision will ultimately help to strengthen our brand and the value we provide our audiences,’ Sullivan added. Smith’s last show aired in November.

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