Taking steps to dissolve the company's various news fiefdoms, NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke on Thursday created a new centralized business unit that includes NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC.
NBCUniversal administration executive Patricia Fili-Krushel, who has not had direct involvement in a network news operation for more than 12 years, has been installed as chairman of NBCUniversal News Group.
Burke said the move would create "a structure that should help foster even more cooperation."
The consolidation also resolves lingering questions about which of the company's three powerful news chieftans, NBC News President Steve Capus, CNBC President Mark Hoffman or MSNBC President Phil Griffin, might nudge one another out to become the top newsman. Both Capus and Griffin were tight allies of former NBCUniversal chief Jeff Zucker and given wide latitude under his reign.
But in the end, Burke decided that none of the three would get the top job.
The move also could be viewed as a demotion for Capus, who has been struggling to reverse alarming ratings declines at the network's premier news program "Today." The show is now fighting for first place with ABC's"Good Morning America."