Bosses at NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC and Telemundo Discuss Top Issues Facing TV Newsrooms

By A.J. Katz 

NBCUniversal News Group presented its first ever NBCU Academy Next Level Summit on Tuesday, with all four NBCU news network chiefs gathered together in one place to discuss the biggest issues facing TV newsrooms.

The summit was accessible for free to journalism students, professionals, internal and external partners, and more.

Led by NBCU News Group’s DEI team, the virtual conference presented five panel conversations that included students from NBCU Academy’s academic partner schools, including Florida International University; Montclair State University; California State University, Fullerton; North Carolina A&T; among others.


NBC’s Tom Llamas moderated a panel featuring CNBC chairman Mark Hoffman, MSNBC president Rashida Jones, NBC News president Noah Oppenheim, evp of Telemundo News Patsy Loris were live from the CNBC Global HQ in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

Hoffman on taking the next step in your career: “If you are committed to doing your job well, but you have ambition to do more, if you’re in the right workplace, you should be able to do that. You should have mentors or leaders that you can go to and try to realize your ambition, that is a beautiful thing. That is what pushes our organizations ahead and at essentially any other organization, in any walk of life around the world.”

Jones on the importance diversity in newsrooms to reflect the communities they serve: “You also have to make it part of the operation. NBCU Academy is an example of that. This was a program that started in January of last year, where we said, we are going to make this a standalone part of how we do business. It’s up to us to grow the pipeline. It’s up to us to find the future leaders and cultivate them and as early in the process as possible, find them, grow them, groom them, and then they eventually take these chairs that we’re all in right now.”

Oppenheim explained NBCU News Group chairman Cesar Conde‘s 50% challenge, pushing for half of all staffers to be women or minorities: “It’s something that we all embrace as being not only the right thing to do from a moral standpoint, but also from a business standpoint, for all the reasons we’ve been talking about. I think it would be a dereliction of duty if we didn’t pursue a goal like that. NBCU Academy was built specifically because, unfortunately, it’s probably harder than it should be. We wish that there was this abundant pipeline of people who were beating down our doors to take these jobs. We’ve got to be more proactive about building that pipeline and making it a little bit easier for folks who might not have ready access to 30 Rockefeller Center to make sure that they get a foot in the door.”

Loris on how she keeps Telemundo diverse within the Hispanic community: “One of the things I’m most proud of is we have an all women leadership team in Noticias Telemundo. Our goal for our employees in front and behind the cameras is to represent that diversity and tell the story of the Latino community. We’re all diverse, but we’re all the same too and we have the same issues.”