This morning, NBC is set to announce that it’s handing over the top production job for the 2012 Olympics to Jim Bell, executive producer of the network’s Today show.
Because Bell plays such an integral role at Today—NBC’s flagship morning program, not to mention the most profitable news show on TV—the network is going to emphasize the fact that Bell is not leaving his current post, but will add Olympics duties to his current responsibilities. Bell will leave day-to-day production of Today for several weeks during the Olympics coverage from London this summer, but will return to the morning program after the games end.
In an interview with The New York Times, NBC Sports Chairman Mark Lazarus said that the network chose Bell based on his previous experience with the Olympics—he actually began his NBC career as a production assistant at the 1992 Barcelona games, and has held important roles in several other Olympics since—and his track record as a live news producer.
“He’s a one of a kind choice,” Lazarus said. “As opposed to me going out and bringing in a producer from the outside, Jim is someone who culturally made sense for the kind of atmosphere that we wanted to create at the company.”