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Lyne Pitts Rises to NBC News VP

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Network Names Veteran Producer to Planning Role



"Lyne Pitts, an Emmy-award winning producer and veteran network news executive, has been named Vice President, NBC News. The announcement was made today by NBC News President, Steve Capus, to whom Pitts will report, and is effective immediately," the network said Thursday.

"Lyne is one of those rare executives that brings a unique mix of editorial expertise and a true knack for news judgment, combined with an excellent management style," said Capus in the announcement. "She's had a big impact on the front office already, and this promotion is very well deserved." She will be one of five NBC News vice presidents. Paula Madison, president and general manager KNBC-TV in Los Angeles, is a vice president of the parent NBC Universal.

"Pitts's responsibilities include oversight of the News division's strategic partnerships and overall production management. Pitts is also tasked with positioning NBC News's production assets for the future — everything from integrated desktop editing to identifying and streamlining facilities opportunities both domestically and internationally. She also serves as the division's point person on diversity issues," the announcement continued.

A spokeswoman explained that basically, "she's working the tools and equipment that keep the news division running —editing machines, new ways of using digital technology to make work easier, more productive, higher quality, etc. A lot of this comes into play with the big move into 30 Rock for MSNBC, as we redesign our headquarters — planning out the space and tools to keep us working most efficiently."

The announcement noted that, "Pitts came to NBC News as executive producer of 'Today, Weekend Edition,' in February 2006. Under her direction, 'Weekend Today' remained the dominant weekend morning news program topping 'Weekend GMA' by millions of viewers each week, and delivering its highest rated February sweep in three years."

It was just in January that Capus named Pitts executive producer in charge of strategic initiatives, reporting directly to him.

In his "State of the NBC News Division" discussion, Capus said, "Lyne will help identify and drive new business opportunities, with heavy emphasis on the editorial and technical aspects of these ventures. As I've said repeatedly during our 2.0 conversations, NBC News is committed to reallocating resources to new growth areas. It's Lyne's job to help make this happen with an eye towards maintaining the editorial excellence people have come to expect from NBC News. It's essential for us to have a structure that recognizes new opportunities, seizes chances and moves aggressively. Lyne is uniquely qualified to take on this new role."

Pitts and her husband, CBS News national correspondent Byron Pitts, have five children. The oldest, Dan Bowens, is a reporter at WRAL-TV in Raleigh, N.C. When Byron Pitts was chosen as 2002 Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists, he said he met his wife at the 1997 NABJ convention in Chicago.

Prior to joining NBC, Lyne Pitts spent 23 years at CBS News.

Richard Prince's Journal-isms originates from Washington and is published Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It began in print before most of us knew what the Internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a "column." For newcomers: The words in blue (on most computers) are links leading to more information. The Web site provides passwords and user names to some registration-only news sites, but use may be illegal in some states. Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.

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