NBC Newsers Take Stage at 2023 Aspen Ideas Festival

By A.J. Katz 

From June 24-30, hundreds of speakers and thousands of attendees gathered in Colorado for the Aspen Ideas Festival, held in partnership with NBCUniversal News Group.

This is the second year of NBCU News Group as the exclusive media partner for the festival, which includes collaborating on programming and extending the reach of the festival’s on-the-ground events, partners and sponsors to audiences across NBCU News Group’s broadcast, cable, digital, audio and streaming platforms.

Participating in the festival this year are on-air journalists from across the brands — NBC Nightly News anchor and managing editor Lester Holt, co-host of Today with Hoda & Jenna Jenna Bush Hager, NBC News chief Washington correspondent & chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell, NBC News Now anchor Tom Llamas, NBC News Now anchor and co-host of Stay Tuned Savannah Sellers, co-anchor of CNBC’s Squawk Box Andrew Ross Sorkin, anchor of CNBC’s TechCheck Deirdre Bosa, Noticias Telemundo anchors Vanessa Hauc and Johana Suárez, as well as host of MSNBC Films and NBC News Studio’s Leguizamo Does America, John Leguizamo.


NBCU News Group chief Cesar Conde was present as well.

On Saturday, June 24, Andrea Mitchell spoke with Surgeon General Vivek Murthy at Aspen Ideas: Health. He discussed the effort to provide Americans the resources to improve their wellbeing, including mental health in children and adolescents.

On Monday, June 26, NBC News President of Editorial Rebecca Blumenstein spoke with General Motors CEO Mary Barra about how General Motors has evolved during her tenure, GM’s commitment to selling only zero-emission vehicles by 2035, its relationship with Elon Musk and more.

Blumenstein asked Barra, “do you think you can trust Elon Musk as a partner or will you still be viewing him as a competitor?”

Barra responded, “I think he’s both. In this case, it’s a decision that’s good for everyone. It’s going to be better for the consumer. When you’re aligned it’s in both of your best interest, I think we can move forward. Our team worked very seamlessly with the team from Tesla – they were great to work with. Of course we’re going to compete, in a lot of spaces now you compete and you partner.”

Conde opened the Afternoon of Conversation on Tuesday alongside Aspen Institute President and CEO Dan Porterfield to discuss the partnership between the Aspen Institute and NBCUniversal News Group.

The NBCU News boss then introduced former Rep. Liz Cheney, who then spoke with Holt about whether she will run for president in the 2024 election, the indictment of former President Trump and the state of the republican party.

When asked if she’ll run for president in 2024, Cheney responded, “I’m not announcing anything here today, Lester.”

When asked if she would run as a third-party candidate, Cheney said, “I’m not going to do anything that helps Donald Trump, and I think that I’ll make a decision about what I do and what comes next later this year. I feel very strongly about how important it is that we not let slip away what is so special and magnificent about this nation.”

NBC News Now’s Tom Llamas also moderated a discussion on the dilemmas of hostage diplomacy featuring Washington Post Global Opinions writer Jason Rezaian, Dartmouth fellow on U.S. foreign policy and international security Danielle Gilbert and State Department Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens.

In response to what Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal reporter currently being held by Moscow on espionage charges, is going through, Rezaian, who was held in Iran for 544 days, said, “I can tell you from my experience, your captors do everything they can to make you feel off balance. It’s really a game of mental torture.”