Steve Capus, the president of NBC News who in 2007 received the Ida B. Wells Award from the National Association of Black Journalists for his diversity efforts, is stepping down, he told colleagues Friday. His move means an expanded role for Antoine Sanfuentes, senior vice president of NBC News and Capus’ chief deputy.
“Working in network news is not a solitary pursuit; it is the ultimate ‘team sport,’ ” Capus said in a memo to colleagues, “in which success is derived from the collective performances of remarkable people united in purpose and dedication. I have seldom described my role as ‘presiding’ over NBC News. Instead, I have viewed it as leading a collaborative effort to pursue journalistic excellence.
“It has been a privilege to have spent two decades here, but it is now time to head in a new direction. I have informed Pat Fili-Krushel that I will be leaving NBC News in the coming weeks.
“Of course, it is an extremely difficult decision to walk away from a place that has been the backdrop for everything in my life since 1993. . . .”
Fili-Krushel, chairman of NBCUniversal News Group, said in her own memo that “. . . Antoine, in addition to overseeing the Washington Bureau and ‘Meet the Press,’ will serve as interim managing editor responsible for editorial decision making, Specials and Standards and Practices.
“Reporting to Antoine will be Cheryl Gould, Mark Lukasiewicz and David McCormick. Antoine also will run the Daily Share meetings,” according to a memo published by Dylan Byers in Politico. Gould is senior vice president of NBC News, Lukasiewicz oversees digital media and specials and McCormick is executive producer, broadcast standards and ombudsman.
The Daily Share is the daily NBC News Group editorial call/meeting, during which all NBC divisions “share” their editorial plans — including “Today,” “NBC Nightly News,” “Dateline”/”Rock Center,” the NBC affiliates, MSNBC, CNBC, special projects, the Weather Channel, Telemundo and digital properties. Sanfuentes, whose father is Chilean, also leads NBC’s Diversity Council.
Capus received the Wells award, then presented by NABJ and the Association of Opinion Journalists, formerly the National Conference of Editorial Writers, in part for his actions during the Don Imus affair, in which the radio host described the Rutgers women’s basketball team in racist and sexist terms. Capus ended MSNBC’s simulcasting of the Imus show from CBS-owned WFAN radio in New York.