Tuesday, April 17, 2007

THE MEMO: Massacre shows "The power-- and humanity-- of NBC News"

Our readers know what national disasters and tragedies mean to the network news organizations: Money. It's a chance to grab new eyeballs, show off their stuff, test out the new technology, demonstrate their sensitivity, beat the competition, spread it around the various platforms, get those one-name star faces-- like Brian, Meredith, Matt and Stone-- up in front, and turn it all into a bite-sized, ratings-grabbing, one-hour specials.

In the words of Jean Giraudoux: "The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you've got it made."

From: "Capus, Steve (NBC Universal)"
Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2007 11:45 AM
Subject: Virginia Tech

The events at Virginia Tech are horrifying, senseless and profoundly upsetting.

I want to thank everyone who stepped up and contributed to NBC's outstanding coverage of these incidents. MSNBC and MSNBC.com provided smart, accurate, non-stop coverage of the events as they unfolded before our stunned eyes.

NBC News Specials moved swiftly with 3 break-ins.

The Netdesk, News Channel and Field Ops somehow managed to get the right people into the right places.

Our broadcasts of Nightly, Dateline and Today covered the events completely and with great sensitivity, grounded in outstanding journalism. To have Brian, Meredith, Matt and Stone on location, leading an incredibly strong group of journalists, demonstrates the power - and humanity - of NBC News.

Dateline NBC scrambled to produce a compelling one-hour special... It was the only such offering by any of the networks in primetime.

The coverage has moved forward today - and we will continue the pursuit. I thank everyone at NBC News for their genuine commitment... and ask all of you to continue to keep the Virginia Tech families in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve Capus

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