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The Wall Street Journal: NBC’s News chief pushes streaming and bets on post-Trump story lines

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Since taking over as chief of NBCUniversal News Group last year, Cesar Conde has made it clear he wants the division to place a bigger bet on streaming.

As contract renewals emerge with top talent such as MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Joy Reid, and CNBC’s Shepard Smith, these people will likely be asked to produce content for streaming services including Peacock, according to people familiar with the matter. It is part of a plan to have a large and loyal streaming audience as the traditional TV business starts to fade.

Conde, 47 years old, has begun to put his stamp on the organization—which includes MSNBC, CNBC and NBC News—as he manages the news division during one of the busiest and most unpredictable periods for news in years.

In addition to the streaming push, Mr. Conde has emphasized fiscal discipline, centralizing oversight of the news networks and cutting executive positions that each channel has had up to now, people familiar with the personnel changes said. He has taken business responsibilities away from some top personnel, such as CNBC Chairman Mark Hoffman, the people said. Like other news channels, NBC’s networks may have a tougher time sustaining high viewership with Donald Trump, a ratings magnet, out of the White House.

An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.

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