Former NBC “Today” EP Jim Bell talks to Sports Business Daily about his jump to running NBC’s Olympics coverage full-time. Bell just returned from a trip to Sochi, Russia, one of many he will make in advance of the 2014 games. Bell left “Today” this week, and was replaced by Alex Wallace as executive in charge of the program and Don Nash as EP.
Q: Why do you want this job?
Bell: Part of it goes back to being a kid and watching the Olympics, as an 11 year old, watching the Miracle on Ice. The global aspect of it is particularly appealing to me. Particularly at a time when the world could use its share of positive moments, the Olympics are a particularly great example of the world coming together. That may sound trite to some. But having done my share of Olympics, it doesn’t to me.
Bell also talked about leaving “Today”:
Q: How difficult was it to leave the “Today” show?
Bell: It’s bittersweet. To put in seven-and-a-half years was an incredibly humbling and life-changing experience. When you start to look at the truly special franchises in television, the ones that have stood the test of time and the ones that continue to not just be relevant but really thrive,it’s a very short list. The Olympics are on that list. And the “Today” show is on that list.