Noah Oppenheim leaves top job in executive shakeup at NBC News
NBC News President Noah Oppenheim is leaving his position at the network in a major shakeup at the news division.
NBCUniversal announced Wednesday that Rebecca Blumenstein, who has been deputy managing editor at The New York Times since 2017, will join the company in the new role of NBC News editorial president.
The company also elevated two of Oppenheim’s deputies. Janelle Rodriguez becomes executive vice president of NBC News Now, overseeing the fast-growing news streaming service. Libby Leist, the executive in charge of the “Today” morning franchise, is now the division’s executive vice president of “Today” and lifestyle.
The three executives will report directly to NBCUniversal News Group President Cesar Conde.
Oppenheim, who has held the position of president since February 2017, is not leaving empty-handed. He has an agreement to develop scripted full-length productions in partnership with NBCUniversal and will be based on the West Coast.
Oppenheim is a screenwriter whose credits include “Jackie,” which received the best screenplay award at the 73rd Venice Film Festival. While at NBC News, he created a studio division that specializes in scripted content based on stories reported by the division.
Oppenheim made it known to NBCUniveral management last fall that he wanted to return to his writing career full-time, according to several people familiar with the discussions.
Oppenheim already has a limited series on Netflix, “Zero Day,” a political thriller starring Robert De Niro.
Oppenheim is ending his second stint at NBC News. He rejoined in 2015 as executive producer of “Today,” and two years later was tapped to replace Deborah Turness as president.
Oppenheim guided NBC News through a major scandal during his tenure, as popular “Today” co-host Matt Lauer was fired over sexual assault and harassment allegations, including an allegation by a former staffer who said he raped her. while on a mission covering the Olympics. in 2014 (Lauer denied the allegation).
Oppenheim also took the brunt of accusations by journalist Ronan Farrow that NBC News refused to air his reporting on disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Farrow accused the network’s news division of a coordinated effort to shut down its reporting in order to protect Lauer. Oppenheim described it as a “conspiracy theory.”
Oppenheim was rumored to be in the dock over the controversies. But his strong relationship with the network’s on-air talent and the continued ratings success of the division’s shows helped him stay in his place.
He also oversaw the launch of NBC News Now, the free 24-hour streaming news service, and the launch of All Day Today, a streaming site using morning show content.