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NBC News president to speak to Cronkite graduates

March 30, 2010

Steve Capus, president of NBC News, will be the Spring 2010 convocation speaker for graduates of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. The ceremony will be held May 14 at Grady Gammage Auditorium on ASU’s Tempe campus.


Capus has been president of NBC News since 2005. He leads the network news division as well as MSNBC and the NBC News Channel. Capus visited the Cronkite School last November when Williams received the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism and hosted the “NBC Nightly News” live from the rooftop of the Cronkite School. During his visit, Capus spent time with students, critiquing their work and talking to them about their careers.


"I had the honor of spending a couple days with the students of the school last November, and afterwards I went back to New York singing the praises of the students, teachers and administrators of this fine school,” Capus said. “It is so important and necessary for the journalism profession to be as strong as it possibly can be right now, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to address these talented individuals who are the future of this industry."


Capus began his journalism career in radio and print and worked at several stations and daily newspapers in the Philadelphia area. He graduated from Temple University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.


He joined NBC News in 1993 as senior producer of “NBC Nightside,” the NBC News Channel’s overnight news program based in Charlotte, N.C. He moved to New York to become broadcast producer of “NBC News Sunrise,” then supervising producer of the “Today” show. He also was senior broadcast producer for MSNBC’s daytime news coverage.


From 1997 to 2001, Capus was the executive producer of MSNBC’s signature primetime newscast “The News with Brian Williams.” He also was executive producer of numerous NBC News breaking reports and MSNBC special broadcasts, including the 2000 presidential primaries and election and the political series “100 Days, 1,000 Voices.”


He became executive producer of “NBC Nightly News” in 2001, overseeing much of NBC News’ coverage of the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center and the war in Iraq. In 2004, he oversaw the network’s first transition in news anchors in more than two decades when Brian Williams replaced Tom Brokaw. Capus was senior vice president before being named president of NBC News in November 2005.


He is the recipient of numerous awards, including four Emmy awards, eight Edward R. Murrow awards, one Alfred I DuPont award and six national Headliner awards. In 2007, he won the Ida B. Wells Award from the National Association of Black Journalists for his efforts to diversify newsrooms and improve coverage of communities and people of color. 


The Cronkite School’s Fall convocation speaker was longtime Washington Post editor Leonard Downie Jr. The Spring 2009 keynote was delivered by Catherine Anaya, CBS 5 News anchor in Phoenix.