The Ottumwa Courier

Entertainment

October 29, 2013

Former NBC news chief now a Yes man

NEW YORK (AP) — For eight years as NBC News president, Steve Capus worried about Brian Williams, the "Today" show and rapid changes in the news industry. Now he's taking time for a passion project: getting Yes into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Capus is collaborating with two political pros on an awareness campaign for the band that enthralled him when he attended their concert as a 16-year-old in Philadelphia in 1979.

The team is already halfway there: Yes is one of 16 candidates for enshrinement next year, its first time nominated.

"I don't want people to think I've completely lost my mind," said Capus, who after leaving NBC last spring has done consulting work in communications and plans to teach journalism and management. "This isn't my new career. I've got the luxury of some time on my hands and the ability to do some projects that I believe in and have some fun doing."

Capus' enthusiasm is no secret to those who know him. NBC got Yes members to film a salute for his going-away party. A reporter covering a rock hall induction a few years ago was surprised by an aggrieved email from Capus about Yes being overlooked.

"They're all great musicians," said Capus, who's taking bass guitar lessons. "Nobody sounds like Yes does. They've got their own unique sound. They've kind of been the soundtrack to my life."

He was contacted by Republican consultant John Brabender and Tad Devine, a Democrat, to join their effort. Both are Yes fans and admittedly bored between political campaigns. They thought boosting Yes could be fun, and perhaps fodder for a reality TV show about a Republican and Democrat cooperating during polarizing times.

"Maybe we should just play Yes music in the halls of Congress," quipped an amused Chris Squire, Yes bass player.

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