Deborah Turness on What Makes NBC News Unique

By Chris Ariens 

As NBC News staffers await a decision on the fate of Brian Williams, the network news chief is celebrating a strong May performance for marquee programs.

As we’ve been tracking, the Today show is beginning to gain ground on Good Morning America, Nightly News remains No. 1 in the evenings season-to-date, despite a strong challenge from ABC’s World News, and Meet the Press had its strongest May sweep in four years.

Friday night, NBC News president Deborah Turness sent a note to staffers, obtained by TVNewser, in which she explained what sets NBC News apart from the competition, while imploring everyone “to continue to work together to build on this incredible momentum.”

Dear All,

I want to share some extraordinary results for NBC News. Last week, TODAY was #1 in the demo for the second week in a row. It means TODAY has won the demo for three out of the last five weeks. There hasn’t been a two-week demo win outside of the Olympics since January 2013. Last week saw great results for Nightly News too. The broadcast was #1 across the board in ALL demos and households, and remains the top broadcast in total viewers and the demo season-to-date. And Meet the Press had its strongest May sweep in four years in both total viewers and the demo, and continues to slash the gap with the competition.

These numbers are powered by the extraordinary lengths you go to each and every day to drive our journalism, to tell great stories, and to create memorable events. In recent weeks, we have been at the heart of the biggest stories, with a string of exclusives, anchoring on the ground (or in the air in Nightly’s case!), always with the deep humanity that is unique to storytelling at NBC News.

As we celebrate your wins, we look forward to the start of June–with Matt’s exclusive interview with Tracy Morgan on the TODAY Show on Monday.

We should all be so proud of the outstanding work we’ve been producing. And the challenge now is to continue to work together to build on this incredible momentum.

My thanks to each and every one of you,