Bob Epstein Moves off ‘Nightly News,’ Named VP of NBC Specials; Pat Burkey to be named EP of ‘Nightly’

By Chris Ariens 

Bob Epstein, who has been executive producer of “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams” for the last two-and-a-half years is moving to the NBC News specials unit as VP.

TVNewser has learned longtime NBC News producer Pat Burkey will be named EP of the show. An announcement could come as early as tomorrow.

Epstein, a former EP in the early days of MSNBC and later EP of Weekend “Nightly News” joins Mark Lukasiewicz, who has been promoted to Senior Vice President of NBC News specials.

Burkey is also a longtime NBC News employee, having been a senior producer on Williams’s MSNBC show “The News with Brian Williams.”

Currently, Burkey has oversight of Weekend “Today” and Weekend “Nightly News.”

Epstein leaves “Nightly” as he inherited it, as the #1 evening newscast.

> More: Internal email from Epstein to his staff, after the jump…

To My Friends at Nightly News,

I just wanted to send you all a note to follow-up on the announcement that was made this morning.

First of all, my thanks to Steve, Alex and Brian for all of the kind words they had. What today really made clear for me is the great partnership we all have on the broadcast, night after night, week after week.

As you all know, I came to Nightly almost ten years ago from the Specials unit in the months after the September 11th attacks, and together we faced those challenging times. From those days through the wars, the shuttles, the earthquakes and tsunamis, Katrina and Cairo, Haiti and Osama, the Olympics and Making a Difference, learning how to DJ to our iPad app, I can honestly say I have never worked with a more creative, smart, talented and dedicated team.

As I said this morning, there has been nothing cooler in my career than doing a live broadcast from Tienanmen Square during the Beijing Olympics, and no busier time than these past six months.

We’ve got much to look forward to in the coming year, and I’m thrilled we’ll all be working together.