Dianne Festa Expands NBC News Duties

By Merrill Knox 

Dianne Festa’s role as director of NBC News has been expanded, NBC News President Steve Capus announced in a memo to staffers Monday.

Festa is currently the editorial liaison to NBC’s affiliates. In her new role, she will take on the task of growing the international presence of both NBC News and MSNBC. She will work closely with the newsgathering teams for both NBC’s domestic and international operations.

Before assuming her current position in 1995, Festa was the Moscow bureau chief and the acting Amman bureau chief at NBC. She began her career as an assignment editor in NBC’s London bureau.

Read the memo from Capus after the jump.

From: NBC News Communications (NBCUniversal)
Sent: Monday, November 07, 2011 1:18 PM
To: @NBC Uni News Everyone
Subject: Note from Steve Capus

We have asked Dianne Festa to take on an important new responsibility for NBC News.

As you all know, growing our international business has been a network-wide priority for some time now.  The late Jeff Gralnick contributed a lot to this effort, and with Jeff’s passing, it’s especially important that we continue the good work he started.

No one is better qualified to build on the momentum Jeff built in this area than Dianne Festa. Dianne will now expand her current role of working with domestic partners, our NBC affiliates, to the foreign domain as she assumes responsibility of growing NBC News and MSNBC internationally from Europe to Asia to South America.  Festa will work closely with the NBC News international newsgathering team as well as NBC Newschannel.

Dianne is no stranger to the international news scene. Prior to her current assignment, Dianne had a long international career with NBC News including assignments as the Moscow Bureau Chief from 1991-1995, immediately following the collapse of the Soviet Union.   During her tenure, she directed coverage of four presidential summits and the war in Chechnya and was among those nominated for a 1993 Emmy award for coverage of the October Russian parliament revolt in 1993.  Dianne also served as acting bureau chief in NBC’s Amman bureau during the Persian Gulf War in 1991 and spent three years as assignment editor in our London bureau from 1986-1989.  And in her first job at NBC News, she worked as the bureau coordinator in our Miami bureau, supporting correspondents covering the Grenada invasion and civil wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua.  We brought her home just once during that stretch, from ’89 to ’91, when she served as Weekend News Manger here in New York.

As I’m sure most of you know, Dianne has worked with Lloyd Siegel for many years to leverage our relationships with NBC stations and broadcast groups , and to manage  the editorial content for our affiliates to help improve NBC’s performance in markets across the country. Most recently, she played a major role in the planning and implementation of affiliate support and participation for NBC News’ Education Nation project, which resulted in extensive use of network and affiliate education content by NBC stations and increased the impact of this important initiative.  As part of her current assignment, she works with Telemundo to provide content and news talent to NBC stations interested in growing their bilingual audiences.

Dianne’s extensive international experience and her equally valuable management experience make her the right person to lead our international outreach efforts.

Please join me in wishing Dianne well in her new role.