Noah Oppenheim is returning to NBC as SVP of the “Today” show, the Los Angeles Times reports. Oppenheim, who was a senior producer on “Today,” left NBC in 2008 heading West to join entertainment production company Reveille, which later merged with Shine America. Most recently he’s worked as a screenwriter.
Oppenheim takes the job that originally went to Jamie Horowitz who was hired away from ESPN. Horowitz was dismissed in November before his official start date. An NBC News spokesperson would not confirm the move to TVNewser.
Oppenheim is a former MSNBC producer who worked on “Hardball” and “Scarborough Country.” He moved to “Today” in 2005.
A 2000 Harvard graduate, Oppenheim is not afraid to stir things up. In his final column for the Harvard Crimson, he excoriated “Harvard’s spoiled brats.”
“I will not celebrate a place that not only disregards, but actively demolishes, the qualities of decency and humility in the people that it educates,” he wrote.
A few years later, after a producing stint in Iraq for MSNBC, he wrote a column for the Weekly Standard which caused a stir inside NBC. According to the New York Observer Oppenheim asserted that reporters “rarely got out of the so-called Green Zone in Baghdad, and that they cribbed wire reports. Mr. Oppenheim left MSNBC when Nightly News executive producer Steve Capus and anchor Tom Brokaw complained openly that the article was unseemly coming from a NBC-affiliated news producer,” the Observer reported.
More: It’s official. Here’s the note that went out from NBC News president Deborah Turness this morning:
From: Deborah Turness (NBCUniversal)
Sent: Friday, January 16, 2015 11:30 AM
To: @NBC Uni NBC News All
Subject: Noah Oppenheim
I’m happy to share the news that Noah Oppenheim will return to NBC News as Senior Vice President and Executive in Charge, TODAY.
In this role, Noah will oversee all aspects of the TODAY brand and is responsible for all platforms of TODAY, including broadcast and digital. His mission will be to guide the editorial content, drive growth and integration, and identify strategic opportunities.
TODAY has the best anchor team in morning television, and significant momentum. Thanks to Don Nash and the TODAY staff, the show continues its winning streak in the 18-49 demo, and is narrowing the gap in total viewers and in the 25-54 demo. Meanwhile, TODAY.com had its best month ever in December and is getting three times the mobile traffic of any competitor.
As many of you know, Noah brings both an insider’s and outsider’s perspective to the role, and his breadth of experience spans both hard news and entertainment. He was an Emmy-winning senior producer of TODAY from 2005 to 2008, overseeing the 7:00 am hour. He spent eight years at NBC – including as executive producer of MSNBC’s Scarborough Country, senior producer of Hardball with Chris Matthews, and he contributed to our coverage of two presidential elections and major international news stories. He has spent the last six years in the entertainment industry, most recently as a screenwriter, and prior to that as Head of Unscripted and Digital at Reveille, where he created and executive produced a number of breakthrough broadcast and digital programs. He’s also the co-author of the New York Times bestselling series, The Intellectual Devotional.
Please join me in welcoming Noah back to NBC News and TODAY.