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Jamie Horowitz, the ESPN executive who helped to launch Keith Olbermann‘s ESPN2 program and Colin Cowherd‘s Colin’s New Football Show, is heading to NBC News as senior vp and general manager of Today.
Horowitz is currently vp original programming and production at ESPN with oversight over several programs. After months of back-and-forth, Horowitz is said to have negotiated an ultimately amicable exit from the sports network directly with president John Skipper. He’ll leave ESPN in September, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.
He’ll be free to begin working full-time at NBC News Dec. 1, where he will have oversight of the Today show franchise, a major role at the news division and a post that was previously occupied by NBC News veteran Alexandra Wallace. Don Nash will continue as executive producer of Today. The show has gone through several staff changes since Deborah Turness was brought in as president of NBC News last August. Rob George joined the show as director, while longtime producer and top entertainment booker Melissa Lonner, who booked the show’s concert series, departed. And last month, the entire NBC News booking department was consolidated under one executive, Matt Zimmerman, who reports directly to Turness.
In an internal memo announcing the hire, Turness described Horowitz as “a visionary leader, a creative thinker and a seasoned expert in developing and driving brands that truly connect.”
“With so much momentum at the Today show in recent months,” she continued, “we want to drive even greater integration and growth among all parts of the brand, on all platforms. This requires someone who can lead the various hours of the weekday show, Weekend Today, Today.com, and the Plaza experience. He will also explore new formats, such as extensions in digital, e-commerce, events and other opportunities to serve the audience beyond the day-to-day execution of the existing broadcast and digital platforms.”
Horowitz’s current ESPN portfolio also includes ESPN2’s First Take, SportsNation and Numbers Never Lie as well as ESPN Sports Saturday on ABC. He also supervises ESPN’s World Series of Poker programming.
This is not Horowitz’s first stint at NBC. Before joining ESPN in 2006, he worked at NBC Sports where he got his start in the industry as an Olympic researcher for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.