“Dateline” producer becomes NBC news chief

As expected, Dateline NBC exec producer Neal Shapiro has been named president of NBC News, succeeding Andrew Lack who earlier in the week was appointed NBC president and COO. “I think I’m lucky,” Shapiro told the New York Daily News Thursday. “NBC News is in such a terrific position that there’s nothing I need to immediately deal with. Longterm, I have to try to grow the business — that’s our biggest challenge.” In a telephone news conference, Shapiro indicated that no decision had been made about his successor at Dateline, saying that an announcement would be made in the next couple of weeks. “The key word here is gradual, orderly transition,” he remarked. Several publications indicated that NBC News exec David Corvo has the inside track on landing the job. Shapiro also must appoint an executive producer of the Today show, a post that was left open when Jeff Zucker was named president of NBC’s entertainment division last year. Meanwhile, the New York Post, citing unnamed insiders, reported Friday that NBC West Coast President Scott Sassa may be close to getting the boot.