Michael Cascio, NBC’s new vice president of cable programming, sees National Geographic in his future. ‘It’s been brought up to me that at some point I’d be involved in [Nat Geo]. I haven’t gotten involved yet just because I’ve got my hands full with other stuff, and there are other people doing that, but it’s safe to say that’s part of what [NBC News president] Andy Lack would like me to be involved in.’
Nat Geo Television and NBC joined forces in 1996 to form National Geographic Channels Worldwide. Fox Entertainment Group came onboard last spring and holds 50% ownership; NBC and NGT maintain 25% each.
Cascio says Lack’s offer to join NBC’s cable arm came out of the blue last October, but was too good to pass up. ‘I had a great job. I had one of the best jobs in television, being the head of programming for A&E, but the challenge here was irresistible,’ he says. His responsibilities currently include finding documentaries for MSNBC and CNBC. In terms of what type of non-fiction programming Cascio will be scouting, he says, ‘It’s a news network with a news reputation. I think that should inform anything that we do here because [the point is] to add to rather than change the network in any way.’