Jenn Suozzo, a veteran NBC News producer who worked as senior producer of “NBC Nightly News,” will step away from the show and is expected to be the latest high-profile TV news executive to join the new CNN streaming. More CNN. service, according to a person familiar with the matter.
CNN and NBC News declined to comment on what direction Suozzo might take, but the role should be senior, according to this person. In a note to staffers, NBC News President Noah Oppenheim said Suozzo was ready to “pursue a new endeavor outside of the company.”
If a deal is finalized, Suozzo would be the second prominent NBC News staffer to decamp to the CNN streaming outlet, which is slated to debut in early 2022. The WarnerMedia outlet said it intends to hire dozens of new staff for the new streaming service. in an effort to compete in a new media world where more and more consumers are migrating to video-on-demand, rather than getting all of their video entertainment through linear television stations and traditional cable or satellite services . Kasie Hunt, an NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent who was considered an up-and-coming anchor, recently struck a deal with CNN to anchor a daily schedule for CNN Plus and provide analysis on stories of national import.
Suozzo leaves as NBC’s evening news, run by Lester Holt, faces a formidable foe. ABC’s “World News Tonight,” hosted by David Muir, dominated the evening news realm, both in terms of overall audience and advertiser-preferred audience demographics, people aged 25-54. years. Over the past two weeks, per NBCUniversal’s coverage of the Tokyo Olympics, “Nightly” has gained more viewers in the announcer’s demo. NBC’s evening news also saw an increase in viewership for full episodes on YouTube.
“Jenn has been an integral part of our control rooms, covering virtually every major news event of the past two decades, including the Miracle on the Hudson, the Boston Marathon bomb manhunt, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the death of Michael Jackson, the tornado outbreaks, six presidential elections, and more,” Oppenheim wrote in a memo to staffers Wednesday. “His roots at NBC run deep, and his passion and his commitment to bringing important topics to light have been second to none, earning him numerous awards, including the Emmys and the Edward R. Murrow.” One of Suozzo’s first big roles at NBC News was as working as the first executive producer of Andrea Mitchell’s long-running program, now known as “Andrea Mitchell Reports”.
Meghan Rafferty is set to serve as interim executive producer of “NBC Nightly News” on August 16, according to Oppenheim.