As part of the reorganization, NBCUniversal is seeking an executive to oversee a newly launched entertainment programming unit. (Netflix’s Bela Bajaria had previously turned down the job, sources say THR.) This unit will oversee a number of content groups including scripting, unscripted, late night, and alternative. The executive will have a broad scope that includes entertainment programming for NBC, cable networks and Peacock.
The NBC studio structure remains in place, with Bonnie Hammer leading a division that includes Pearlena Igbokwe’s Universal TV and Dawn Olmstead’s Universal Content Productions. Matt Strauss will continue to oversee Peacock, which has surpassed more than 10 million registrations since its inception. Strauss will now also include oversight of international networks and Fandango.
The change means Berwick will have a considerably broader jurisdiction than its Lifestyle Networks group which included Bravo, Oxygen and E !. She will now oversee all budget spending and be responsible for deciding what content will be fetched and for which platform. As part of the changes, executives from each of NBCU’s networks could work on content from other divisions. Berwick and the Head of Entertainment Programming will now report directly to Lazarus, President of NBCU TV and Streaming. NBC Alternative Manager Meredith Ahr – who sources say played a key role alongside Telegdy in promoting a toxic culture on the network – remains on board as investigation only begins . NBCUniversal declined to say who is handling the investigation.
The reorganization better positions NBCUniversal for the current market and creates a centralized studio and group of networks where content can be developed and then delivered in a way that makes sense across the portfolio. NBCUniversal, like other media giants, has experimented with broadcasting programs across multiple networks in different groups. Reality TV contest Cannonball, for example, was developed at USA Network and aired both on the basic cable network as well as on NBC. Syfy The purge also aired on USA Network and the next Chucky the update will do the same.
In addition, the realignment is also expected to generate millions of cost savings, as redundancies between programming, marketing and planning divisions need to be eliminated in an effort to create a more unified and lean company. It is a similar approach that Shell implemented in May with the news division.
“We have an unprecedented portfolio that is now in an even stronger position to drive the growth of the business. With the power of NBC and the broadcast model, paired with strong cable entertainment brands and the new addition of Peacock, we have a scale and a vast library of valuable content that can live on any platform, ”said Lazarus. “We are extremely fortunate to have some of the most talented executives in the industry in mind and I have no doubts that we are poised to win in this competitive landscape.
With the realignment, NBCU’s centralized structure now includes four divisions: Strauss’ Direct to Consumer, Berwick’s Entertainment Business, Entertainment Programming Unit and NBC Sports, with Pete Bevacqua now expanding to work across the entire portfolio. Telmundo, NBCU-owned TV channels and affiliate relationships will continue to report to Lazarus and operate as separate business units within the portfolio.