NBC News President Deborah Turness Makes First Appointments

Deborah Turness Headshot - P 2013
Courtesy of ITN

Deborah Turness Headshot - P 2013

Former MSNBC CFO Nicolina O'Rorke is named CFO of NBC News, while Time Inc. veteran Ali Zelenko becomes the news division's chief spokesperson.

NBC News president Deborah Turness has made her first appointments since joining the division in August from the UK's ITV News.

Nicolina O’Rorke has been appointed chief financial officer for NBC News, where she'll be responsible for the financial management of all NBC News shows, including Today and Nightly News as well as worldwide newsgathering and NBC News' digital properties. Previously, O'Rorke had served as CFO for MSNBC and NBC Newsgathering and has overseen finance at Today, Nightly News and Meet the Press.

And Ali Zelenko will join NBC News as senior vp for NBC News Communications, where she will be the news division's chief spokesperson. Kathy Kelly-Brown, senior vp communications for NBCUniversal News Group and a longtime NBCUniversal communications executive, had been handling much of the division's day-to-day media relations since October 2012. She will remain and continue to work closely with Pat Fili-Krushel, chairman of NBCUniversal News Group.  

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Zelenko begins Sept. 25. She comes to NBC News from Time Inc., where she was senior vp overseeing media relations and strategic communications for Time, Fortune, Money and CNNMoney.com. She also previously completed a stint at CNN's Washington bureau.

Turness made the announcements in a memo to NBC News staff on Tuesday. "As many of you who have worked with her before know, Ali is a well-respected professional in the business, and I look forward to her bringing her expertise to our great leadership team," wrote Turness.

Turness, who comes to the States after a career in her native U.K. that also included time at Britain's ITN, has her work cut out for her at NBC News. NBC's longtime evening news leader Nightly News With Brian Williams last July was beaten in the 25-54 demographic by ABC's World News With Diane Sawyer for the first time in more than five years. And that broadcast has bested Nightly a number of times since. Ratings for the three top Sunday public-affairs programs -- CBS' Face the Nation, ABC's This Week and NBC's Meet the Press -- have tightened. As well, the Today show -- which on Monday will unveil a new set -- last year was supplanted as the No. 1 morning news program by ABC's still dominant Good Morning America.