NBC News President Neal Shapiro (search) has resigned after four years. His exit was widely expected, and he reportedly had been negotiating his departure for months.

Steve Capus (search) was named acting president by NBC Universal Television Group boss Jeff Zucker (search), who in June promoted Capus from "NBC Nightly News" executive producer to senior vice president of the network's news division, which includes MSNBC.

A former producer of ABC's "PrimeTime Live," Shapiro went to NBC News in March 1993 to pick up the pieces as executive producer of "Dateline NBC" after that newsmagazine was mired in a scandal over a rigged report on the dangers of GM pickup trucks.

Bringing credibility to the broadcast, he oversaw its expansion to several nights a week as it won awards and robust ratings.

He was named NBC News president in June 2001. Under his tenure, ratings leader "Nightly News" made a smooth transition of anchormen from Tom Brokaw to Brian Williams late last year.

But Shapiro's term was also marked by audience inroads for ABC's "Good Morning America" against a major profit center for NBC, "Today." Meanwhile, MSNBC has continued to fare poorly in ratings against its cable-news rivals, CNN and Fox News Channel.

There were no further details on Shapiro's plans. In his parting memo Tuesday, he wrote: "I don't know what's next, whether it's at NBC Universal or elsewhere." He was unavailable for comment, the network said.