‘Today’ Show Executive Producer Jim Bell to Oversee NBC’s Coverage of 2012 Olympics

Virginia Sherwood/NBC

The former NBC Sports & Olympics producer will executive produce the Summer Games in London, but will continue his role at the network's morning show.

NEW YORK - Jim Bell, executive producer of NBC’s Today show, will oversee the network’s coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London as executive producer, NBC said Tuesday. 

Bell, a former NBC Sports & Olympics producer, will continue his role at Today, the network emphasized, even though he will step away from day-to-day production of the morning show for several weeks during the Olympics.

“Jim’s unique background in both sports and news at NBCUniversal makes him the perfect choice to lead our London Olympics production,” said Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Sports. “He knows the people at NBC Sports, the intricacies of the Olympics and how to work within NBCUniversal."

Added Lazarus: "Jim’s leadership combined with the extensive experience of our existing Olympic production team - led by head of production Bucky Gunts, coordinating producer Molly Solomon, creative director Mark Levy and executive editor Joe Gesue - has us well positioned to present the London Olympics in a manner consistent with the high standards that viewers have come to expect from NBC.”

Before joining Today in 2005, Bell spent 16 years at NBC Sports & Olympics, and he has worked on every Olympic Games that NBC has broadcast since 1992 on either the sports or news end.

“It is an honor to return to the Olympics, the pinnacle of sports television," said Bell. "And for nearly 25 years no one has done it better than NBC, with innovative, comprehensive coverage and signature storytelling of the world’s greatest athletes."

NBC emphasized that Bell won Emmys for his work on the 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2002 Olympics and a Peabody award for NBC’s coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony.

Today earlier this year hit its 800th week as the top-rated morning TV franchise.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai