NBC, MSNBC Shake Up Digital Operations – Huffington Post

NEW YORK — NBC News Chairman Andy Lack on Tuesday named the BBC’s Nick Ascheim to lead digital efforts for both NBC News and MSNBC, management’s latest attempt at unifying the broadcast and cable networks. 

“Nick’s mission will be to chart a path for our digital brands and platforms that reflects the greater integration of NBC News and MSNBC – especially when it comes to product and partnering with technology and sales,” Lack wrote in memo obtained by The Huffington Post. “Our digital efforts will now be united under one leader who will also have the important charge of working with our new partners at Buzzfeed and Vox to seize the opportunities presented by those investments.”

Ascheim will take the newly created title of senior vice president, digital, for NBC News and MSNBC. He will report directly to Lack.

Richard Wolffe, executive editor of MSNBC.com, and Julian March, senior vice president, digital, for NBC News, both are leaving the company. 

Wolffe, a high-profile journalist, author and political commentator, oversaw the 2013 launch of MSNBC.com, which was then trying to distinguish itself from NBC News’ website as a progressive outlet for news and opinion. 

But Lack, who returned to lead NBC last spring amid the Brian Williams scandal, has tried to more closely integrate the news division and cable outlet. That’s clear when turning on MSNBC, which now boasts NBC News stars as hosts and guests throughout the day.

Lack recently promoted Dafna Linzer, previously second-in-command at MSNBC.com, to a a newly created position as managing editor for politics across both networks.

Lack’s full memo is below:  

I’m pleased to welcome Nick Ascheim, who will join NBC News and MSNBC as SVP, Digital, beginning on November 16.

  

Nick’s mission will be to chart a path for our digital brands and platforms that reflects the greater integration of NBC News and MSNBC – especially when it comes to product and partnering with technology and sales. Our digital efforts will now be united under one leader who will also have the important charge of working with our new partners at Buzzfeed and Vox to seize the opportunities presented by those investments. Nick will report to me.

 

Nick comes to us from BBC Worldwide America, where he is SVP, Consumer Digital – leading digital editorial, product and sales for news and entertainment.  Prior to joining BBC Worldwide he was in digital leadership roles at the Associated Press and the New York Times, where he also worked on original video. Nick started his career at ABC as a Field Producer and moved into the digital news realm to launch foxnews.com.  He has an MBA from Harvard and a BA in English from Cornell. He lives in Montclair with his wife and two young children. 

 

Julian March, who has steered NBC News’ digital strategy since early 2014, has decided to leave to pursue other opportunities. In his time at NBC, Julian established a product discipline in the digital business, achieved a huge increase in video views, and broadened our reach and distribution on social as well as new platforms. Julian built new partnerships for NBC News, getting us on board early with Facebook Instant Articles and OTT channels like Amazon Fire and NextGen Apple TV. We wish him all the best in his endeavors.

 

Richard Wolffe, who has been both a dynamic business leader and on-air contributor for MSNBC, is moving on to a new opportunity. Richard led the creation and launch of MSNBC.com after the end of the joint venture with Microsoft, and brought both a business and an editorial sensibility to the digital realm.

 

Please join me in thanking Julian and Richard for all their contributions, and in welcoming Nick.

 

Andy

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