Former MSNBC Chief Erik Sorenson to Become CEO of Consulting Group That Includes Media Search Firm

Dec 16, 2013  •  Post A Comment

Erik Sorenson, a former president of MSNBC, has been named CEO of the Sucherman Consulting Group (SCG), effective Jan. 1, 2014, the company recently announced.

Sorenson will succeed Stuart Sucherman, who "will continue his active leadership role as Chairman of SCG, while turning over day-to-day management to Mr. Sorenson, the new majority owner of the company," the announcement said.

Besides doing media consulting, SCG runs a search division for media executives.

The announcement added: "Mr. Sorenson joined SCG in 2010, was appointed COO in 2011 and became an equity partner in 2012. Before joining SCG, Sorenson had a long career in local radio and television before holding a number of senior executive roles at CBS, NBC, Fox and Time Warner, including president of MSNBC, executive producer of the ‘CBS Evening News with Dan Rather,’ and EVP, programming at Court TV. Mr. Sorenson also ran an Internet publishing company and owned an independent TV production company, which produced programming for ESPN, Discovery, AETN, NBC and MTV."

In a recent New York Times article about Stuart Sucherman, written by our good friend Elizabeth Jensen, she wrote that Sucherman, 77, "shuns interviews and is not widely known outside the clubby world of the television industry. Yet for several decades, he has had a deep influence on what viewers have seen on their television screens … and his company … has helped networks like ABC and NBC navigate some of their most vexing problems.

"When David Westin, then president of ABC News, faced reinventing the network’s flailing ‘Good Morning America,’ Mr. Sucherman helped his team conclude that Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer should anchor the program, a radical change that reversed its fortunes."

Jensen added: "When Herb Scannell was named president of BBC Worldwide America three years ago, Mr. Sucherman ‘told me not to do what I wanted to do,’ Mr. Scannell said. Many consultants, he said, ‘want to tell you what you want to hear, and Stuart doesn’t do that.’

"[Discovery Communications CEO David] Zaslav said: ‘He’s the anti-yes man. He always tells you the truth.’ He said he regretted not listening when Mr. Sucherman advised Discovery that viewers would not be receptive to an environmental-themed digital channel. ‘It took us about a year and a half to learn what Stuart told me in the office that day,’ Mr. Zaslav said of the short-lived network, Planet Green."

To read more about Sucherman’s career in media, please click on the link above to see Jensen’s original story.

stuart sucherman.bmpStuart Sucherman

erik sorenson.bmpErik Sorenson

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