Digital arms of NBC News, MSNBC united under new executive

November 3, 2015
Category: Uncategorized

Nick Ascheim has been named senior vice president of digital for MSNBC and NBC News in a shakeup that aims to consolidate leadership of the networks’ digital divisions.

Ascheim, a senior vice president at the BBC, replaces high-level staffers atop the digital operations of NBC News and MSNBC. Julian March, who was previously senior vice president of editorial and innovation at NBC News, is departing the network for “other opportunities,” according to a staff memo from NBC News Chairman Andy Lack. Richard Wolffe, vice president and executive editor at MSNBC.com, is also leaving.

Ascheim’s appointment, which unites the digital arms of both networks under one executive, is the latest in a series of changes made by Lack since he returned to NBC News earlier this year. Lack has forecast additional alterations to MSNBC, which has struggled with ratings in recent years.

Already, Lack has steered former “NBC Nightly News” host Brian Williams to MSNBC in an attempt to bring new star power to the network amid the anchor’s false statements about his reporting in Iraq. Under Lack’s leadership, MSNBC also expanded “Morning Joe” to become a four-hour program.

Ascheim will begin Nov. 16 and report to Lack.

Here’s the memo:

I’m pleased to welcome Nick Ascheim, who will join NBC News and MSNBC as SVP, Digital, beginning on November 16.

Nick’s mission will be to chart a path for our digital brands and platforms that reflects the greater integration of NBC News and MSNBC – especially when it comes to product and partnering with technology and sales. Our digital efforts will now be united under one leader who will also have the important charge of working with our new partners at Buzzfeed and Vox to seize the opportunities presented by those investments. Nick will report to me.

Nick comes to us from BBC Worldwide America, where he is SVP, Consumer Digital – leading digital editorial, product and sales for news and entertainment. Prior to joining BBC Worldwide he was in digital leadership roles at the Associated Press and the New York Times, where he also worked on original video. Nick started his career at ABC as a Field Producer and moved into the digital news realm to launch foxnews.com. He has an MBA from Harvard and a BA in English from Cornell. He lives in Montclair with his wife and two young children.

Julian March, who has steered NBC News’ digital strategy since early 2014, has decided to leave to pursue other opportunities. In his time at NBC, Julian established a product discipline in the digital business, achieved a huge increase in video views, and broadened our reach and distribution on social as well as new platforms. Julian built new partnerships for NBC News, getting us on board early with Facebook Instant Articles and OTT channels like Amazon Fire and NextGen Apple TV. We wish him all the best in his endeavors.

Richard Wolffe, who has been both a dynamic business leader and on-air contributor for MSNBC, is moving on to a new opportunity. Richard led the creation and launch of MSNBC.com after the end of the joint venture with Microsoft, and brought both a business and an editorial sensibility to the digital realm.

Please join me in thanking Julian and Richard for all their contributions, and in welcoming Nick.

Andy