Chairman, NBCUniversal News Group

Cesar Conde

Cesar Conde was named Chairman of the NBCUniversal News Group in May 2020. In this role, Conde has oversight of NBC News, MSNBC, and CNBC, including the portfolio’s editorial and business operations. He reports to Jeff Shell, CEO, NBCUniversal. 

Under Conde’s leadership, the NBCU News Group has made substantial investments in digital and streaming, accelerating its leading position across all platforms. In addition to being the most-watched news organization in the country, it is now the number one digital news organization in the U.S. for the first time in its history. Its streaming network, NBC News NOW, continues to achieve record-breaking viewership numbers and will expand significantly in the next year with international distribution and additional live original programming. 

Further, under his tenure, the News Group has become the only news organization to run three major streaming channels with the additional launches of TODAY All Day and The Choice from MSNBC. NBC News Group also created streaming programming on Peacock, including Dateline 24/7 channel, The Overview, Meet the Press Reports and several standalone streaming specials.

Becoming the first Hispanic to lead a major English-language television news organization, Conde gained oversight of NBCU News Group amid one of the most intense and challenging news cycles in recent history. He steered the organization during a global pandemic, an ensuing economic crisis and historic social unrest, which all unfolded against the backdrop of a complex election cycle.

Immediately after Conde took helm of the NBCU News Group, he boldly launched the Fifty Percent Challenge, which aspires for newsrooms to be 50% women and 50% people of color. To track progress and measure success, Conde developed an aggressive action plan comprised of five pillars: investment and recruitment, content, education and development, partnerships, and measurement, and also instituted a new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team.

At the core of the initiative is NBCU Academy, a multiplatform journalism training program for four-year university and community college students, which partnered with 17 academic institutions serving diverse populations earlier this year, providing $6.5 million in funding to prepare students for a career in journalism.

This past year under Conde’s leadership, NBCU News Group achieved historic ratings milestones. During the week of the 2020 presidential election, MSNBC delivered its highest-rated week in its 25-year history and NBC News Digital had its most-trafficked week ever. Furthermore, NBC News and MSNBC together topped all other networks during the final 2020 presidential debate. Additionally, CNBC has advanced its position as the number one brand in Business News video with double-digit, year-over-year percentage growth in 2021.

Previously, Conde was Chairman of NBCUniversal International Group and NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises. As Chairman of NBCUniversal International Group, Conde was responsible for the operations and international expansion of NBCUniversal businesses outside of North America. 

As Chairman of NBCU Telemundo Enterprises, Conde oversaw the leading media properties that serve Hispanics worldwide. He was instrumental in building NBCU Telemundo Enterprises into a world-class media company that produces and distributes high-quality Spanish-language content across a range of broadcast, cable, and digital properties, including: the Telemundo flagship TV network, 30 local stations, Universo Cable Network, Telemundo Digital Enterprises, Telemundo Global Studios, Telemundo Deportes, Noticias Telemundo, Telemundo Films and several other video content and distribution properties.  

Conde repositioned Telemundo to become the premier Spanish-language network, propelling the network to rank number one for the first time in its history in primetime among key consumer demographics. He oversaw Telemundo’s transformation into an increasingly innovative media company, with an emphasis on original programming, reality television, sports, music and news, including launching three daily national newscasts, an investigative unit, and local newscasts in key markets. 

Conde joined NBCUniversal in October 2013 as Executive Vice President of NBCUniversal to oversee NBCU International and NBCU Digital Enterprises. Prior to NBCUniversal, Conde was the President of Univision Networks and served in a variety of senior executive capacities at the company. He is credited with transforming the Spanish-language media company into a leading global, multi-platform media brand.  

Prior to Univision, Conde served as a White House Fellow for Secretary of State Colin L. Powell from 2002–2003. He also worked for StarMedia Network, the first internet company focused on Spanish and Portuguese-speaking audiences globally, and in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group at Salomon Smith Barney.  Conde serves on the board of directors of Walmart (NYSE: WMT) and PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP). He is also a Trustee of the Aspen Institute and the Paley Center for Media. Conde is also a Board Member at the Council on Foreign Relations and a Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum. He holds a B.A. with honors from Harvard University and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Cesar Conde’s acceptance speech

From RTDNA/RTDNF Executive Director Dan Shelley

“Cesar wasted no time imprinting his mark on NBCUniversal News Group by announcing an ambitious, and welcomed, commitment to strive for a remarkably diverse workforce, ensuring that consumers of NBC’s news outlets reflect the population of the nation it serves. Combine that with his steady leadership of one of America’s preeminent news organizations, and it’s easy to see why he is worthy of this significant honor.”

From former RTDNF Chairman Terence Shepherd

“In the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd in May 2020 and the nationwide reckoning with race issues, one network leader decided to do something. Cesar Conde, NBC Universal chairman, deserves recognition for being among the first news leaders to set ambitious staff diversity goals in July 2020: 50 percent people of color and 50 percent women.”

About the Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award 

This award is presented to a radio or television journalist or news executive who has made a major contribution to the protection of First Amendment freedoms. It is named for the late Broadcasting & Cable senior correspondent, Leonard Zeidenberg.

Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award — 2021, Cesar Conde

Updated on 2022-03-16T16:03:10+00:00, by firstawards.