NBC buys stake in Euronews, names new president

Noah Oppenheim

Deborah Turness, the US-based president of NBC News, will head the company's global news operation.

Turness, a former ITV executive, was named president of NBC News International, a new division that will liaise between the USA news division and Euronews, and could also serve as the springboard for further international expansion by NBC News.

The changes were announced Tuesday in a memo from NBC News Chairman Andy Lack.

According to Bloomberg and The New York Times, NBC will spend US$30 million for its stake in the European news outfit. Founded in 1993, the network has more than 400 journalists and is broadcast in 13 languages.

Oppenheim is now working to develop a show for newly imported news anchor Megyn Kelly who is expected to take a 9:00 a.m. slot at "Today".

The report said the Euronews deal will give NBC access to an additional 277 million households across Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Set up by the EBU it is majority owned by the family of Egyptian businessman Naguib Onsi Sawiris. Turness oversaw the firing of Meet the Press host David Gregory and the removal of Brian Williams as the Nightly News anchor after he was caught lying about being on a helicopter that was shot and forced down in Iraq. Turness will move into the role of president of NBC News International.

Lack praised Turness and said that she had "driven the news division on big scoops and exclusives and considerably upped our game" and praised her 'commitment to "journalism with a capital J".

"We now have a fantastic opportunity to do just that, and to begin to write an exciting new chapter in he remarkable history of NBC News".

To be sure, Euronews needs work to improve its ratings before it can truly become a rival CNN and BBC World News.

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