Thompson going green for NBC News


NEW YORK -- NBC News established a full-time beat on the environment, and named Anne Thompson to lead the coverage as the network's chief environmental affairs correspondent.

Thompson will cover a beat that has become red hot in recent years with the Oscar-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" becoming a hit at the boxoffice and more attention being paid to the environment. Her new beat will have her report on the environment for "NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams," "Today," MSNBC and online platforms.

"One of the things that we're increasingly taking about is what is our impact on Planet Earth, how can we reduce any kind of negative impact we have," Thompson said. "It's everything from what kind of light bulbs you buy to bigger issues."

Thompson had been NBC's chief financial correspondent since March 2005; she worked as a national correspondent and political correspondent since she joined NBC News in 1997. She also was diagnosed in March 2006 with breast cancer, and had been working while undergoing treatment. She has been declared cancer-free. She said that the experience has, among other things, given her the opportunity to think about what she wants to do next in life.

NBC's decision last year to brand its business and economic news with the CNBC name left Thompson without a full-time beat. She discussed it over the course of several months with NBC News president Steve Capus and senior vp (now "Nightly News" executive producer) Alex Wallace.

"We came to the mutual agreement that really what is out there and hasn't been covered and needs to be covered as a beat is the environment," Thompson said. "When you step back and think about it, it's something that impacts every part of our life from the foods we eat to the cars we drive and how we heat our homes."

NBC News isn't alone in its coverage of the environment. ABC News has two correspondents covering the topic, including Bill Blakemore, who covers the environment and global warming, and Ned Potter, who covers science. Sam Champion, "Good Morning America" weather anchor, also is ABC News' weather editor. CBS doesn't have a dedicated environmental correspondent, with the coverage split between several staff members and science/technology correspondent Daniel Sieberg. And CNN just named "American Morning" co-anchor Miles O'Brien as the network's chief environmental/technology correspondent.