'Nightly News' Exec Producer Bob Epstein Exits Broadcast for Specials Unit

He will work with Mark Lukasiewicz, who has been upped to senior vp of specials, while longtime producer Pat Burkey is expected to take over "Nightly."

After two and a half years as the executive producer of NBC's Nightly News With Brian Williams, Bob Epstein is exiting the top-rated broadcast to spearhead the specials unit at the news organization.

Mark Lukasiewicz has been upped to senior vp of NBC News specials, while Epstein has been named vp, reporting to Lukasiewicz.

The announcement came Tuesday from NBC News president Steve Capus.

Pat Burkey, a longtime NBC News producer who currently has oversight of the weekend editions of Today and Nightly News, is expected to be named ep of the broadcast.

Lukasiewicz was previously vp of the unit; most recently he oversaw NBC’s multi-platform coverage of the Royal Wedding and the midterm Congressional elections. Lukasiewicz will continue to report to Capus.

“With these promotions, we are recognizing the critical role of NBC News Specials in our organization and creating a foundation for an even bigger role, and more programming, in the future,” Capus said in a statement.

Epstein will lead live breaking news coverage as well as creating and producing major live programs and events on NBC News, MSNBC and other NBCUniversal properties, according to the NBC News release. In his new role, Lukasiewicz will continue to provide creative and production leadership for the unit on an expanding range of projects, including “Decision 2012” debates, forums, primaries and election nights televised and streamed across NBC News, msnbc and msnbc.com.