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Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

NBC News announced on Monday the hiring of CNN's longtime video executive Chris Berend to run its digital operation. Berend will replace Nick Ascheim, who is currently senior vice president of digital at NBC News and MSNBC. Ascheim will be taking a new role within NBCUniversal.

Details: "Over the next few weeks, Nick will be moving into a role working to improve digital performance across the NBC News Group and will continue to partner with the NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises team. More details will come on his role," the note says.

  • Berend, who currently serves as CNN's senior vice president of global video, will be heading to NBC this summer to run digital.
  • Aside from overseeing all of CNN's editorial video operations, Berend was also the co-founder of Great Big Story, a CNN-owned global media brand devoted to cinematic storytelling.

The big picture: The staff changes come as NBC News pushes more aggressively into podcasts and streaming.

Read the full memo from NBC News chairman Andy Lack to staff:

Dear Colleagues,

We’ve worked hard over the last few years to build an innovative and competitive Digital business. Thanks to the leadership of Nick Ascheim and all your creativity and ingenuity, we’ve made enormous progress since 2015.

Nick now has an opportunity to take his considerable skills beyond NBC News. Over the next few weeks, Nick will be moving into a role working to improve digital performance across the NBC News Group and will continue to partner with the NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises team. More details will come on his role.

With Nick moving on, I’ve been giving a good deal of thought to the next steps in the evolution of our Digital efforts. Specifically, how can we further our goal of always putting 'story first' while fully integrating our television, digital video and text journalism into one unified structure within NBC News? As I said at our town hall meeting last Fall, it’s a mindset and a cultural shift, but one we are uniquely capable of achieving. 

Our Digital team must now live more deeply within NBC News organizationally, rather than alongside it. To that end, I’m pleased to announce that Chris Berend will be joining us at the beginning of July to help lead us down that path. Chris will be EVP, NBC News Digital, reporting in to Noah. Chris is currently at CNN where he oversees all digital video content, including breaking news, feature content, and original premium series. Prior to his time at CNN, Chris was a digital leader at Bloomberg Media and ESPN, and before that a journalist at Esquire. He has a sharp eye for product, and a fantastic sense of the business and editorial demands of digital news.

Please join me in congratulating Nick on a job well done, and welcoming Chris to NBC News.

Warm Regards,

Andy

Note: NBC is an investor in Axios, and Andy Lack is a member of the Axios board.

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”