NBCUniversal will combine its broadcast and cable news operations, putting NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC and The Weather Channel under the corporate umbrella of the NBCU News Group, the conglomerate announced Thursday.
The division will be put under the watch of Patricia Fili-Krushel, a veteran media business executive and longtime collaborator with NBCU CEO Steve Burke.
The restructuring is similar to Burke’s earlier re-organization of the conglomerate’s sports assets shortly after Comcast closed purchase of NBCU last year — NBC’s broadcast sports division was combined with Comcast’s regional sports networks and put into the NBC Sports Group.
“I am confident that placing all of these assets into one group will accelerate their growth, individually and collectively,” Burke said in an internal memo announcing the changes Thursday, which was obtained by paidContent.
The restructuring comes at a challenging time for broadcaster NBC News, which is seeing intense ratings competition across its key assets, including the Today show, NBC Nightly News and Meet the Press.
It also comes just four days after NBCU completed its deal with Microsoft to unwind 16-year-old joint venture MSNBC.com. That site has been re-christened NBCNews.com.
As the New York Times noted, Fili-Krushel’s appointment was a bit of a surprise to many insiders, given she doesn’t have an extensive news background.
She joined NBCU last year, shortly after Comcast took the reins, overseeing busines strategy, human resources, legal and other administrative operations. She joined the company after a stint as executive vice president of administration at Time Warner Inc., where she was doing much the same job.
Before that, she was president of the ABC television network from 1998-2000, where, among other divisions, she oversaw ABC News and helped launch The View.