New ‘NBC Nightly News’ executive producer Pat Burkey — now three weeks into the job — is Brian Williams’ fifth e.p. in his tenure as anchor and managing editor.
Five e.p.’s in seven years? No big deal, says Williams.
“The last two [Alexandra Wallace, Bob Epstein] have gone on to become NBC vice presidents. Steve Capus became president of NBC News. A lot of [turnover] has been quirks of timing. Running ‘Nightly’ is a job I would wish on no one. There’s a lot of pressure to maintain our standing and standards. They are all friends of mine in life.
“Turnover is only good for the broadcast,” Williams tells TVNewser. “We’ve been blessed with a position of strength. We have to remain agile and introduce change. A ton of folks used our executive producer job as a springboard for much bigger things within the company.”
Speaking of exec producers, Williams gives high marks to BBC and CBS alum Rome Hartman, e.p. of his new fall newsmagazine.
“He’s a terrific guy,” Williams says. “We’re very alike – demographically, physically, age-wise. He’s a thorough grownup.”
As for juggling both shows, Williams, a self-described quick study, says he’s not worried. Travel “is a constant. There will always be travel.”
His prediction for the newsmag: “We know how to tell good stories. Lord knows we’ve got the horses.”