CNBC’s Erin Burnett Signs On For Three More Years, Adds NBC Duties

By Chris Ariens 

The NYTimes’ Brian Stelter talks with “rising star” Erin Burnett of CNBC about her new deal with the business channel, signed his past week, that includes regular duties on NBC News.

Ms. Burnett’s backers, both inside and outside NBC, have set out to showcase her as a more mainstream news personality. Apparently seeking to forestall any competitors, CNBC decided to renew her contract six months before it was to expire. At least one broadcast network showed interest in hiring her, she said. Ms. Burnett decided that NBC Universal remained the best fit.

Her new contract makes her a fill-in co-anchor on “Weekend Today,” an assignment commonly seen as a first step in the grooming of new personalities at NBC. Ms. Burnett says she would prefer to evolve, rather than reinvent, her television persona.

And there’s this interesting quote from Burnett’s CNBC boss, SVP Jonathan Wald.

Asked about whether Ms. Burnett could become an evening news anchor, Mr. Wald, formerly an executive producer of “NBC Nightly News,” brushed aside the question. “I’m not sure that’s something people aspire to anymore,” he said, matter-of-factly.