NBC News Group Chief: ‘The future is going to require collaboration’

By Alex Weprin Comment

The chairman of the NBC News Group, Pat Fili-Krushel, talks to Joe Flint at the LA Times about what’s ahead for NBC News, CNBC and MSNBC. There are a handful of clear priorities: fixing “Today,” finding a new president for NBC News leading the way.

“When you are No. 1, it’s easy to stop taking chances,” Fili-Krushel said [of “Today”]. “I think we just stopped innovating.”

Despite the concerns about the Lauer-Guthrie pairing, Fili-Krushel gave them a strong endorsement. “They are the ones who will take us back to No. 1,” the executive said.

Also on her list: making sure NBC News is digital-forward, and making sure that there is real, meaningful collaboration between the NBC, CNBC and MSNBC teams.

In addition, she wants more teamwork, particularly between CNBC and NBC News. While CNBC personalities often appear on NBC’s “Today” and “Nightly News,” there are long-running tensions between the two units, current and former staffers said.

“The future is going to require collaboration,” Fili-Krushel said

Fili-Krushel is a “close confidant” of NBCU CEO Steve Burke, who an (anonymous) former staffer said was installed to bring things under control.

“They don’t like shenanigans and leaks and gossip, and that’s what news divisions are,” said one former NBC News senior staffer who requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the topic. “It read as Burke’s attempt to put in some parental guidance.”