John Reiss has been named executive producer of “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” it was announced today by Phil Griffin, Senior Vice President, NBC News and Executive in Charge of MSNBC. Reiss will also play a critical role in MSNBC’s political coverage throughout the election year. The appointment is effective immediately.
“I’m tremendously excited to have John join ‘Hardball’ as the 2008 election season heats up,” said Griffin. “He’s a terrific producer who knows politics and knows how to find and tell the big stories. He’s the perfect person to have in place at this critical time.”
“Hardball is incredibly fortunate to have recruited someone of John Reiss’ professional caliber,” said Chris Matthews, anchor and managing editor of “Hardball.” “He has the expertise, the experience and the imagination to give Hardball what it needs.”
“I’m thrilled to be working with Chris and the wonderfully talented staff at Hardball,” said Reiss. “This is the best political show on TV. I love politics and I can’t imagine a better place to be in a presidential election year.”
Reiss, a nine-time Emmy Award winner, most recently served as executive producer of “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams,” from 2005 until March of 2007. During his tenure, “Nightly News” received more high-level journalism awards than any network evening newscast has in years. The awards included: four Emmy Awards, a duPont-Columbia Award, a Peabody Award, a Polk Award, six Edward R. Murrow Awards, including two for “Best Newscast,” sixteen National Headliner Awards including two for “Best Newscast,” two Gerald Loeb Awards for financial reporting, two Sigma Delta Chi awards and two Gracie Awards. Reiss was previously the senior broadcast producer of “Nightly News” from 2002 - 2005.
Prior to joining “Nightly News,” Reiss was a producer and senior producer at “Dateline NBC” from 1994 - 2002. At “Dateline,” he was a member of the senior staff and supervised many projects, including two award-winning hours, “The Roots of Rage,” on the U.S. and Islam after 9/11, and “The Plane Truth,” on the airline industry.
Before joining NBC News in 1994, Reiss was a producer at ABC’s “Good Morning America” from April 1991 - July 1994. At GMA, he produced a variety of stories, focusing on hard news and filled in regularly both as head of the field producing unit and as a line producer, overseeing the entire week’s programming.
From 1983 - 1988, Reiss was a writer and later head writer for ABC’s “World News this Morning,” and for GMA’s news segments. From 1988 - 1991 he was ABC’s morning news editorial producer, during which time he covered many stories, including the 1988 US-Soviet summit in Moscow and the 1989 democracy movement in China. Reiss was in Tiananmen Square on the night of the government’s crackdown.
He began his journalism career in print journalism and radio. He worked as a news clerk at “The New York Times’” Washington bureau and wrote and reported for Buffalo’s only all-news radio station and for “The Buffalo Evening News.”
He graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a Bachelor of Arts in political science.