Programming

Alex Wallace to Replace Jim Bell at Helm of 'Today'

Bell will become executive producer of NBC's Olympics coverage 11/12/2012 07:30:52 PM Eastern

In a long-rumored shake-up at NBC's Today show, executive producer Jim Bell will leave the NBC morning show and be replaced by Alexandra Wallace, currently a senior VP at NBC News.

Bell, who has been EP of Today since 2005, will become the full-time executive producer of NBC's Olympics coverage, an NBC Sports Group spokesman confirmed, a role he already held during the 2012 Summer Games in London. An NBC News spokeswoman declined to comment on Wallace's status.

The story was first reported in the New York Times.

Wallace will be executive in charge of Today in her new role while another producer will be hired to run the show day-to-day. Just last month, Wallace was named executive producer of Rock Center With Brian Williams, replacing Rome Hartman, a role she will keep with the added oversight of Today.

The decision comes under the new partnership of Pat Fili-Krushel, who was named chairman of the new NBCUniversal News Group in July and NBC News president Steve Capus.

A change in leadership at Today has been expected given the longtime morning show slipping to second place against an ascendant Good Morning America in the wake of Ann Curry's ouster from Today in June. The ABC program first broke Today's 16-year win streak in the mornings in April, a feat that has become a trend since Savannah Guthrie replaced Curry in June.

GMA has beaten Today in total viewers for 11 consecutive weeks and in the key adults 25-54 demo for nine straight weeks as of the week of Oct. 22. Today did win in the demo for the most recent week of Oct. 29, though ratings for that week were not counted by any of the morning shows because of the preemptions caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Wallace joined NBC News in 2005 after serving as senior broadcast producer for CBS' The Early Show since 2000. At NBC, she has been executive producer of Weekend Today and senior producer of Today before being named VP in 2006, where she later served as Capus' chief deputy.

According to the Times, MSNBC producer Izzy Povich and The Dr. Oz Show producer Any Chiaro are among those who have been interviewed for the day-to-day Today producer job.

An official announcement on Wallace's appointment could come as soon as this week.

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