Courtesy of NBC News
Sorkin will host and produce a limited-run original series for NBC News Now, the NBC News streaming service that its parent has promoted aggressively in recent weeks as rival CNN prepares to launch a new streaming venture called CNN Plus. Sorkin’s streaming debut is expected to examine “the people, trends, institutions and forces shaping our world,” according to an NBC News statement. Additional details are expected to be revealed in months to come.
“Andrew is one of the most respected interviewers in the nation. His renowned expertise on all-things business and policy as well as his extraordinary talent to tell compelling stories make him the perfect addition to NBC News Now’s expanding slate of original journalism,” said Noah Oppenheim, president of NBC News, in a prepared statement.
“We’re excited to showcase his distinctive insight and reporting seen every morning on CNBC to our streaming platform that represents the best of NBC News.” In July, NBC News Group said it intended to offer 200 new jobs related to digital and streaming.
NBC hopes to cultivate connections with a new generation of news aficionados who don’t see a subscription to cable or a newspaper as their main conduit to information about the surrounding world. Only 34% of U.S. adults under the age of 30 now get TV through cable or satellite, according to an early 2021 survey from Pew Research Center, compared with 65% in 2015. What’s more, the organization found that just 56% of overall U.S. adults subscribe to a cable or satellite outlet, compared with 76% in 2015. With that in mind, NBCUniversal has revamped its “Today” morning franchise so that it has offerings that appeal to a broadband audience and has created a lineup of MSNBC opinion programs on its Peacock streaming video hub.
But NBC News’ traditional competitors are at work on similar efforts. CBS News recently unveiled a new line of streaming programs that use CBS News anchors and correspondents. Fox News Media has unveiled a portfolio of streaming efforts that include the stand-alone subscription service Fox Nation; international outlets that carry Fox News programs; and an ad-supported Fox Weather. ABC News has put resources into ABC News Live.
The NBC News Now schedule is largely made up of shows that stay on the news of the moment. The Sorkin program would appear to take more of an “enterprise” focus, or look beyond the immediate news cycle. NBC News announces the show as CNN has begun to articulate a streaming schedule that includes both regular live news shows, including some anchored by Wolf Blitzer and former NBC News correspondent Kasie Hunt, as well as programs that examine particular niches, including food, travel and personalities in the news. One program, led by former Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, is expected to anchor a daily weekday program that features “candid conversations with prominent individuals across the spectrum of news, sports, entertainment, art and culture.”
Sorkin has over his career cultivated an extremely varied resume. He has been a co-anchor of CNBC’s morning show “Squawk Box” since 2011, but he is also known as the New York Times business and finance columnist who founded the news site “DealBook.” He is the author of “Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System — and Themselves”, which was adapted as a movie by HBO Films in 2011. Sorkin served as co-producer of the film, which was nominated for 11 Emmy awards. He is also co-creator of the Showtime drama series “Billions.”
Variety's Brian Steinberg contributed to this post.