NBC Taps Oppenheim as New ‘Today’ Show Boss
NBC has found its new Today show boss. Noah Oppenheim, who was a former senior producer on the morning show, has been named senior VP and executive in charge of the program.
Oppenheim essentially fills the void left by the firing of former general manager Jamie Horowitz. He will have many of the same duties as Horowitz, including oversight of all broadcast and digital platforms. Unlike Horowitz however, Oppenheim will have direct editorial oversight of Today.
“Noah brings both an insider’s and outsider’s perspective to the role, and his breadth of experience spans both hard news and entertainment,” said NBC News president Deborah Turness, in an internal memo to staff.
Oppenheim, who left Today in 2008, joins the program that is on very different standing than when he left. The show has been mired in second place behind ABC’s Good Morning America since 2012 and has had behind-the-scenes drama, most notably with Ann Curry, who officially left NBC News this week in favor of a media startup. Horowitz's ouster, which had come before the former ESPN executive’s official start date, was also mired in controversy amid reports he wanted to shake up the on-air talent.
Oppenheim will be putting on hold a burgeoning screenwriting career. He cowrote the adaptation for the 2014 film The Maze Runner and was recently tapped to write Allegiant, the third film in the Divergent franchise.
Turness’ full memo is below:
I’m happy to share the news that Noah Oppenheim will return to NBC News as senior vice president and executive in charge, Today.
In this role, Noah will oversee all aspects of the Today brand and is responsible for all platforms of Today, including broadcast and digital. His mission will be to guide the editorial content, drive growth and integration, and identify strategic opportunities.
Today has the best anchor team in morning television, and significant momentum. Thanks to Don Nash and the Today staff, the show continues its winning streak in the 18-49 demo, and is narrowing the gap in total viewers and in the 25-54 demo. Meanwhile, Today.com had its best month ever in December and is getting three times the mobile traffic of any competitor.
As many of you know, Noah brings both an insider’s and outsider’s perspective to the role, and his breadth of experience spans both hard news and entertainment. He was an Emmy-winning senior producer of Today from 2005 to 2008, overseeing the 7:00 am hour. He spent eight years at NBC – including as executive producer of MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, senior producer of Hardball with Chris Matthews, and he contributed to our coverage of two presidential elections and major international news stories. He has spent the last six years in the entertainment industry, most recently as a screenwriter, and prior to that as head of unscripted and digital at Reveille, where he created and executive produced a number of breakthrough broadcast and digital programs. He’s also the co-author of the New York Times bestselling series, The Intellectual Devotional.
Please join me in welcoming Noah back to NBC News and Today.
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By Kent Gibbons