THR's 35 Most Powerful People in Media
It’s not easy leading a legacy TV news brand through the digital revolution. “The hardest part of the job is the quest for relevance, recognizing that news consumption has evolved and will evolve tomorrow and the next day,” says Capus, 48, the longest- serving current broadcast news president since being named in 2005.
Re-signing top-ranked Today host Matt Lauer, with whom he’s had a decades-long relationship, will go a long way in keeping NBC News relevant in the morning race — and in the ratings competition with second-place Good Morning America.
“Matt is incredibly important to this news division,” says Capus, who joined NBC News in 1993 and has produced signature broadcasts including Today, was executive producer of MSNBC’s The News With Brian Williams and steered Nightly News through the transition from Tom Brokaw.
But Capus also stresses the overall strength of the top-rated news division. "It’s important to build an organization that is bigger than the individual parts," he says. "We have a hall-of-fame lineup that we can draw on every single day. I’m not going to sit here and say it’s Matt Lauer or nothing because that isn’t fair to the rest of the organization. There is talent in every single office."
And while he's not happy with ratings for recently launched newsmagazine Rock Center, he says that the Williams-hosted hour, which hired a staff of 100, marks an investment in programming while the news industry overall has contracted.
A Philadelphia native, the married father of two sons (ages 10 and 12) and a daughter (23) is an avid Flyers and Phillies fan and has been known to unwind by playing bass guitar; Yes bassist Chris Squire is a favorite.