Molly Solomon began her career at NBC Sports as a researcher for its Olympics coverage. Nearly 30 years later, she will lead its coverage.
NBC announced Tuesday that it has promoted Solomon to executive producer and president of the network’s Olympics unit, becoming the first woman to be an executive producer for a network sports division.
Solomon succeeds Jim Bell, who announced Nov. 4 he was leaving the network. She will continue to be executive producer at GOLF Channel, a position she has held since 2012.
“I have three loves in my professional life; it’s sports television, the Olympics and golf, so I feel really very fortunate to be able to combine them,” Solomon said during a conference call Tuesday. “I really feel like I’m returning to my roots at NBC Olympics.
“My first job out of college nearly 30 years ago was as an Olympic researcher. So over the next 22 years I really climbed the production ladder at NBC Sports doing every job along the way. That culminated in London, and I really thought that was the apex. I know the requirements of this role. It’s very familiar.”
Solomon has extensive history with the network’s Olympic coverage. She has worked 10 Winter and Summer Games, beginning as a network researcher in 1990 and becoming coordinating producer from 2006-12. She oversaw the network’s production of golf’s return to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
She will oversee over 7,000 hours of coverage across broadcast and cable channels as well as online streaming. As was the case for the Seoul and Beijing Games, many of the swimming and track & field finals are expected to happen in the morning in Tokyo so they can air in prime time in most of the U.S.
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“We are still roughly nine months away, and there will be plenty of time for Molly to be brought up to speed and to put her fingerprints on what the Olympics will look like in Tokyo,” said NBC Sports Group President Pete Bevacqua.
Olympics primetime host Mike Tirico — who is in Los Angeles doing some pre-games preparation this week — said he couldn’t be more excited for Solomon’s promotion.
“I have great familiarity with her approach to things (from GOLF Channel),” he said. “Her DNA and roots come through every level of the Olympics at the network. There is no getting up to speed for her.”
NBCUniversal owns the U.S. media rights on all platforms to all Olympics through 2032. The Tokyo Games next year are the second of three straight Olympics in Asia, which is 14 hours ahead of Eastern time.