New NBC Boss ‘Active with Suggestions on How Stories Should be Covered’

By Merrill Knox Comment

Deborah TurnessWhen the new “Today” set was unveiled last month, NBC News president Deborah Turness told TVNewser her head was “on fire with ideas” for the network. With “Today” behind “Good Morning America” and “Meet the Press” in a tight three-way race for the top spot among the Sunday public affairs shows, the Associated Press’ David Bauder takes a look at the challenges facing Turness — and how some of her ideas have already influenced NBC News:

People at NBC say Turness has been active with suggestions on how stories should be covered. For example, she encouraged reporter Miguel Almaguer when he was covering the Colorado flooding to step beyond a dispassionate tone and describe to viewers all that he was seeing. He hiked two hours with a digital camera to the cutoff community of Jamestown, Colo., that other reporters hadn’t gotten to yet.

In a memo to staff following coverage of the Western wildfires, Turness made it a point to say that “we were not content to film at a distance.”

Having someone new come into an organization that already has veteran leadership can work both ways: It can invigorate or grate on people who have their own ways of doing things. NBC is in that shakeout process now.