Ex-NBC news exec will manage WNET

Neal Shapiro, president of NBC News until 16 months ago, will succeed William Baker as president and c.e.o. of New York’s WNET. Shapiro, 48, a 25-year veteran of network news who ran NBC’s Dateline before heading NBC’s global news operations, will assume one of Baker’s titles next month, serving for a year as president while Baker remains c.e.o. Baker will relinquish the chief exec role next February, becoming president emeritus. The board of Educational Broadcasting Corp., licensee of both WNET and WLIW in Long Island, unanimously approved the transition plan on Jan. 18, ending a year-long executive recruitment process that began as a search to replace Paula Kerger, former c.o.o., who left WNET to become PBS president last March. “As we did the search I realized that, ultimately, this person has to be capable of replacing me,” said Baker.