DC Bureau Chief Speculation Focuses on Whitaker

By SteveK 

The New York Observer’s Felix Gillette writes about the search for a new NBC DC bureau chief, and reports “several sources at the network” believe NBC News SVP Mark Whitaker is the front-runner.

Much of the speculation following Tim Russert’s death has been focused on who takes over the Meet the Press chair, but his role of bureau chief will need to be filled as well. “We feel like we’re in good hands in the meantime,” says NBC spokesperson Allison Gollust.

Whitaker joined NBC in May 2007 from Newsweek where he was editor. He is the #2 to Steve Capus. “He sits in on a lot of meetings,” says one staffer to the Observer. “But no one seems to know quite what it is he does.”

A former senior staffer says, “He knows how to run a news-gathering operation. The assumption is that he would be a calming, firm hand on the D.C. bureau rudder.”

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