The story behind Steve Capus' NBC News departure; Joe Sexton's words of wisdom
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The New York Times and Reuters both have some insider background on NBC News Steve Capus' sudden departure from the network, which was announced this afternoon.
A restructuring six months ago foreshadowed Friday’s announcement. Steve Burke, the chief executive of NBCUniversal, consolidated all of NBC’s news units — NBC News, MSNBC and the business news channel CNBC — under a new umbrella, the NBCUniversal News Group, and he named one of his most trusted lieutenants, Ms. Fili-Krushel, to run it. Mr. Capus, who previously reported directly to Mr. Burke, now reported to Ms. Fili-Krushel.
Mr. Capus made no secret of his unhappiness with the restructuring. His contract had a clause that allowed him to leave in the event that he no longer reported to Mr. Burke, according to two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement at NBC. He decided to exercise that right after months of contemplation, according to the people, who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized by the network to speak publicly.
Three sources close to NBC said his departure had been rumored around the halls after Comcast reorganized the news division in July, bringing in Patricia Fili-Krushel to head the news unit's business operations. After that change, these sources said, Capus' departure became a matter of when, not if.
Prior to Comcast's takeover, the three heads of NBC's news operations - Mark Hoffman at CNBC, Phil Griffin at MSNBC and Capus - all reported directly into Jeff Zucker, who was not only NBC's chief executive but also well-versed in hard news.
The sources said it would not be a surprise if Capus eventually resurfaced in a new position under Zucker at CNN.
In other news...
The owners of Manhattan Media have sold the company's community newspapers. [The Wall Street Journal]
How China's hacking of The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal highlights its resistance to Western media. [The Huffington Post]
The New Yorker is launching two new online verticals. [Adweek]
W is reducing its frequency. [Adweek]
A Fox News reporter is fighting attempts by lawyers to make her give up her sources in the James Holmes shooting story. [A.P.]
The latest in the CBS/CNET saga. [NYT/Media Decoder]
The Washington Post is exploring a sale of its headquarters. [The Washington Post]
Nico Pitney is headed back to The Huffington Post. [WaPo/Erik Wemple]
Quote of the day...
If you are not asking yourself every couple of years how to once more scare yourself to death, then you are living something of the coward’s life. Ain’t no room for cowards in journalism at this moment in time.
So Marketwatch.com booted media scribe extraordinaire Jon Friedman, big mistake.— JoeStrupp (@JoeStrupp) February 1, 2013
Did Al Gore send an impersonator out to promote his new book? If so, he needs to tell faux Al to turn it down just a tad.— Jack Shafer (@jackshafer) February 1, 2013
"Do not get into a Twitter feud with One Direction," Piers Morgan warned Jay Leno last night:
From our inbox...
Jonathan Krim has been named editor of MarketWatch, per a memo from The Wall Street Journal's Raju Narisetti:
We are delighted to note that Jonathan Krim is being named Editor of MarketWatch.com.
Since taking over as Acting Editor six months ago, Jonathan has restructured the MarketWatch newsroom to better position resources for speed, for growing the site’s audience through social, mobile and other platforms, and for significantly closer coordination with the Journal’s newsroom and WSJ.com. And under him, there have also been significant talent additions to its journalism ranks in recent weeks.
Even before joining MarketWatch full time, Jonathan had been involved in evolving its strategy to try and become the best place on the ad-supported Web for individual investors to find high-quality insight and advice on how to use news, in addition to getting the news itself in a timely manner. Among other things, Jonathan has spearheaded making MarketWatch the first major news media site to incorporate tracking of social sentiment of stocks in its quotes pages, as another metric investors can use to help make decisions.
MarketWatch also is expanding coverage for those looking to build and protect their nest eggs, including a new Retirement Center that, in just a few months of launch, has become a market leader, with fresh stories, columns and blog posts every day.
Jonathan’s drive for innovation and deep experience as a digital and print journalist makes him perfect for this role. He came to Dow Jones in 2010 as Sr Deputy Managing Editor of wsj.com, having previously served as an Assistant Managing Editor of The Washington Post's digital newsroom and prior to that, a technology-policy reporter for the Washington Post. Before that, he was the Executive Editor of TheStreet.com, and an Assistant Managing Editor for business/technology at the San Jose Mercury News during some of Silicon Valley’s formative years. His tenure in San Jose was marked by two Pulitzer Prize-winning projects that he directed.
Please join me in congratulating Jonathan.
News Corp. has named additional appoinments for its new publishing company:
News Corporation (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) today announced two senior management appointments for the New News Corporation, the proposed global publishing entity to be formed as part of the Company’s intended separation into two independent, publicly traded companies.
Anoushka Healy, currently Group Managing Editor of The Times and Sunday Times in London, has been named Chief Strategy Officer and will help shape the new News Corporation and fashion its strategic direction. She will also be responsible for sharing best practices across the organization, implementing new projects and supporting talent around the company’s businesses.
William Lewis has been appointed Chief Creative Officer. He will be responsible for the new company’s creative strategy and will have a central role in developing new commercial opportunities, including product launches, digital initiatives and acquisitions. Mr. Lewis joined News Corporation as Group General Manager of News International in London in September 2010 and became an executive member of News Corporation’s Management and Standards Committee in July 2011.
Both Ms. Healy and Mr. Lewis will be based in New York and report to Robert Thomson, Chief Executive Officer of New News Corporation.
“Will and Anoushka will be at the very heart of the new company, expanding our digital and global reach and building new businesses,” said Mr. Thomson. “Anoushka is a fully certified organizational genius and master of motivation. Will has an innate understanding of audiences and how their needs are changing. He is as diligent as he is digital.”