In the least-surprising exit in media, Neal Shapiro is stepping down as president of NBC News. Senior VP Steve Capus was named acting president.
No plans for hiring a permanent replacement have been announced.
Shapiro asked to be released from the gig last May, though network executives believed that NBC Universal Television Group President Jeff Zucker was poised to swing the ax. Shapiro is ultimately responsible for the fate of one of NBC’s major profit centers, the Today show, whose executive producer, Tom Touchet, was ousted in May.
Shapiro's also in charge of MSNBC, which has stumbled for years trying to find a ratings groove. Shapiro did successfully manage the transition from retiring NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw to replacement Brian Williams, a shift that many industry executives expected would crunch the No. 1 evening newscast.
Shapiro was named president in 2001, a reward for his success in running the news division's prime time magazine, Dateline. That show, too, has faded in the ratings.
Capus spent four years as executive producer of the NBC Nightly News. He was promoted to the No. 2 slot for the entire news division last June, replacing retiring senior VP Bill Wheatley.