Allison Gollust has been promoted to executive VP, corporate communications for NBC Universal, the company says. She is succeeding Cory Shields, who was recently named Executive VP, Global Policy Strategies and Alliances for NBCU.
Gollust beat out a strong roster of internal candidates who included Kathy Kelly-Brown and Rebecca Marks. External candidates were also interviewed for the job. NBC is expected to name a new NBC News PR chief in the next few weeks.
Gollust has a long relationship with the NBC chief. She worked as a senior publicist for NBC News' Today show during Jeff Zucker's tenure there as executive producer. Before joining NBC News in November 1998, she worked in NBC's corporate communications division.
In her present position as senior VP of NBC News Communications, Gollust is responsible for NBC news programs including Nightly News with Brian Williams, Dateline and Meet the Press. She is also responsible for overseeing communications for MSNBC, CNBC and The Weather Channel.
In the new top spot, Gollust will help form the communications policies of NBC Universal's global assets. In addition to directing external communications, she will also oversee internal communications, corporate philanthropy and community relations.
"Allison is an accomplished communications strategist who I've had the good fortune of working closely with for more than a decade," said Zucker, to whom Gollust will report. "She brings a wealth of experience to this position, not only in her broad knowledge of this company, but of the media landscape at large. Her talents have earned her the respect of her colleagues and constituents, and will serve NBC Universal well for many years to come."
"Jeff and I talked about it and we have a long history together going back to Today," Gollust said. "I've also said that working at NBC it is such a thrill to work for the best people in the business from the top down. The talent is extraordinary and communications is no exception. I am really excited about what lies ahead."