Shakeup in CNBC Exec Suite

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Fort Lee, N.J. — In a major executive shakeup, former NBC station manager Mark Hoffman has been named president of the beleaguered business-news network CNBC, effectively replacing president and CEO Pamela Thomas-Graham, who was named network chairman.

Hoffman, who had served as president and general manager of NBC Universal owned-and-operated station WVIT in Hartford, Conn., is no stranger to CNBC. He has worked in a number of executive capacities at the channel, most recently as vice president and managing editor of business development in 2001.

Hoffman will oversee operations and programming for the network, which has struggled for years on the ratings front. Under Graham, the network averaged a 0.2 rating in 2004, flat from 2003 and tied with Cable News Network’s Headline News in the bottom rung among cable network-news organizations. Hoffman will report to Graham and NBC Universal Television Group president Jeff Zucker.

“Mark Hoffman has proven himself to be an innovative and highly-skilled programming and news executive whose deep television experience will help CNBC build on its successes going forward,” Zucker said in a statement. “He has first-hand knowledge of how CNBC was built into a dominant global brand and the perfect background across news, programming and sales to help drive the network’s continued growth. We’re thrilled to add Mark to our leadership team.”

Graham, one of the highest-ranking African-American women in the cable industry, is now responsible for strategic planning for CNBC and for identifying major growth opportunities for the brand, including potential brand extensions.

“We have achieved a number of successes during my tenure as president,” Thomas-Graham said in a statement. “I look forward to being able to now focus on CNBC’s strategic planning challenges to generate continued growth for the company.”

Thomas-Graham was appointed CEO of CNBC in July 2001. Previously, she was CEO of CNBC.com.

She joined NBC in 1999 from McKinsey & Company, the global management consulting firm, where she was a partner and one of the leaders of the firm’s Media and Entertainment practice.

The executive shuffle comes as Fox News Channel is preparing to launch a competitor to CNBC. Fox News’ entry is expected to bow sometime late this year.

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