CNBC Communications Chief Brian Steel Is Leaving After 14 Years on the Job

By A.J. Katz 

CNBC’s most steadfast and passionate defender will soon be leaving the network after 14 years on the job.

Executive vp of communications Brian Steel is leaving CNBC on Friday, Sept. 3, with additional details to follow.

He sent an internal memo to staff this week announcing his goodbye.

“The day I walked in the door, CNBC already two decades into a dynastic run as the most dominant brand in business news, there was a looming potential threat,” Steel wrote, referring to Fox Business. “CNBC embraced the challenge with the scrappiness of a start-up and the strength of a global powerhouse. Every day since, we have outworked, outhustled and outsmarted all competition on every platform.”

Steel, who joined the network in September 2007, brings up CNBC journalists’ work during the financial crisis as something he’ll look back fondly on.

“During the 2007-2008 financial crisis when the markets were melting down daily, CNBC was never better. We were a beacon of light in a torrential storm,” he writes.

Steel also gives a shoutout to his longtime boss, CNBC chairman Mark Hoffman, and his CNBC PR colleagues Jen Dauble, Beth Goldman and Erin Kitzie.

“To my colleagues at CNBC, thank you all for everything you do to make CNBC the most trusted voice in journalism,” Steel adds. “The state of journalism in the United States and around the world is at a critical juncture. The eyes of the world are on us.”

Below, the remainder of that internal memo:

Fourteen fabulous years.

 

The day I walked in the door, CNBC already two decades into a dynastic run as the most dominant brand in business news, there was a looming potential threat. CNBC embraced the challenge with the scrappiness of a start-up and the strength of a global powerhouse. Every day since, we have outworked, outhustled and outsmarted all competition on every platform. The line in the rear-view mirror is long.

 

Why are we so successful?

 

It is the people – we have the best of the best in every category; lighting, sound, camera people, directors, journalists – up and down the line. More importantly we are a family. All with a single goal – to be First in Business Worldwide. It is earned every day. Everybody plays to win. We see competition everywhere and we rise to the occasion.

 

During the 2007-2008 financial crisis when the markets were melting down daily, CNBC was never better. We were a beacon of light in a torrential storm.

 

More recently, early February of 2020, we were producing nightly specials on COVID-19 long before almost anybody else in media was even aware that a global crisis was coming. And then when the pandemic forced most of America to lock down, thanks to the efforts of our amazing Tech Ops team, a small group who fearlessly made the trek into the office and everyone working tirelessly from home, CNBC has continued to seamlessly broadcast for the past 18 months under unimaginable circumstances. Our mission was never more critical, and we answered the call.

 

After working with top journalists for 14 years, you’d think I would know better than to bury the lede.

 

I am on to the next adventure. My last day at CNBC is Friday, September 3rd. More details to follow.

 

Before I head out, I want to thank CNBC Chairman, and more importantly, my good friend, Mark Hoffman. Over the last 20 years, he has charted the course from a niche domestic cable TV channel to an international brand and digital juggernaut now with 500 million consumers on a monthly basis. While most of the traditional media world is scrambling to survive, CNBC continues to thrive, grow and expand into new products and platforms. Mark is thoughtful, strategic, surprisingly funny and loyal. The CNBC Management team Mark has built over my career at this company has been exemplary. It is a privilege to have worked with all past and present, but special thanks to Steve Fastook and Tom Clendenin who welcomed me with open arms years ago and are still here practicing their crafts at the highest level. I also want to thank the CNBC Public Relations team, but Jen Dauble and Beth Goldman in particular. They have been with me since day one. And Erin Kitzie was not far behind. If I had one word of advice for any leader it would be to hire, train and retain people who are better and smarter than you. Jen, Beth and Kitz are tremendous professionals, and more importantly, people. The whole NBCUniversal communications team is pretty special.

 

I plan to stay in touch with the many friends I have made across NBCUniversal.

 

To my colleagues at CNBC, thank you all for everything you do to make CNBC the most trusted voice in journalism. The state of journalism in the United States and around the world is at a critical juncture. The eyes of the world are on us.

 

And CNBC will never waver.

 

Fourteen years in a heartbeat. Wow.

 

Brian

 

Advertisement
Advertisement