Ex-NBC News chief Neal Shapiro to head WNET New York

William F. Baker, president and CEO of the Educational Broadcasting Corp. (EBC), licensee of public broadcasters Thirteen/WNET and WLIW New York, announced today that Neal Shapiro, former president of NBC News, will become his successor in a gradual transition of leadership.

Shapiro will join the flagship public broadcaster in February as president. Baker will remain chief executive officer of EBC, overseeing the company and Shapiro’s transition for a year’s time. In February 2008, Baker plans to pass on the mantle of CEO to Shapiro, while remaining an active member of the EBC management team in his new role as president emeritus.

“After two decades at the helm of this outstanding institution, I will be delighted to be able to hand the wheel over to Neal Shapiro, a television professional who believes in the power and reach of this medium as much as I do,” said Baker. “I know that Neal will bring new ideas and inspiration to EBC, and I look forward to working with him as he comes to discover just what an amazing and vital organization this is.”

“I am very excited about working with all the talented people at Thirteen/WNET,” Shapiro said. “I look forward to exploring ways to make their unique programs and services even stronger, and to help them create exciting new content for national public television audiences, as well as local programming that reflects the fascinating and diverse area in which we live.”

Shapiro’s 25-year career spans print, broadcast, cable, and Internet media. As president of NBC News from June 2001 to September 2005, he oversaw the global operations of NBC Universal’s top-ranked news division. He led the No. 1-rated news programs in every day part: Today in the morning, NBC Nightly News in the evening and Meet the Press on Sunday morning. He also oversaw Dateline NBC.

On cable, Shapiro oversaw the news operations of MSNBC and developed Countdown with Keith Olbermann and Scarborough Country with Joe Scarborough. He also created NBC News Productions which produces programming for many cable channels, including A&E, Bravo, Court TV, Discovery, History, and Lifetime.


In the world of syndication, he developed two successful syndicated programs produced by NBC News, The Chris Matthews Show and Your Total Health with Hoda Kotb.

On the Web, Shapiro spearheaded a number of changes at MSNBC. He expanded NBC News Radio, and began podcasts and cell phone reports. He also helped create and launch NBC’s digital weather channel, Weatherplus.

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