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A day after reports suggested that Jim Bell would be ousted from his job as executive producer of NBC’s Today Show, NBCUniversal officially named him the executive producer of NBC Sports’ Olympic coverage.
Bell will have complete “editorial and creative control” over the network’s coverage of the Olympics, NBC said, reports Businessweek. The 45-year-old Bell will still report to NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus.
Bell was the executive producer of NBC’s London Olympics coverage over the summer. Although the network was frequently criticized for not airing key events live, it was still the most-watched televised event in US history.
“There is no doubt that Jim is the right person to be our Olympic production leader into the future,” Lazarus said in the statement, posted at Deadline. “His professionalism was unmatched in leading the London Olympics to record levels. Jim has worked with the best in the Olympic television world, and we’re excited to have him join us as the full-time executive producer.”
Bell’s tenure at the Today Show came to an end after he had fired Ann Curry and the show’s ratings took a dive. Reports on Tuesday stated that he is being replaced with a producer yet to be named and Alexandra Wallace, a senior VP at NBC News.
Before working at Today, Bell’s work with NBC primarily focused on sports, beginning with the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. “The Olympics is one of the signature franchises in television, and for more than two decades they’ve been a huge part of my life,” Bell added. “The London Olympics was especially exciting for me, and I look forward to continuing through future Games working with so many good friends and colleagues.”
The next Olympics are the 2014 winter games in Sochi, Russia.