NBCUniversal is making sweeping changes, restructuring its broadcast, studio and digital operations and assigning new roles to a number of the company’s top TV executives, including Bonnie Hammer, Paul Telegdy and George Cheeks.
Universal Television and Universal Content Productions will move under a single business unit named NBCUniversal Content Studios, with Bonnie Hammer at the helm. Hammer, who had been spearheading NBCU’s upcoming streaming platform Peacock as Chairman of Direct-to-Consumer and Digital Enterprises, will assume the new title of Chairman, NBCUniversal Content Studios. She will report to Steve Burke, CEO of NBCUniversal.
Matt Strauss will join NBCUniversal from Comcast as Chairman of Peacock, which launches in 2020. Strauss will also add the Digital Enterprises group to his purview, and report to Burke.
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George Cheeks, Co-Chairman of NBC Entertainment, will become Vice Chairman of NBCUniversal Content Studios, reporting to Hammer. He will also continue to oversee late-night programming for NBC. Pearlena Igbokwe and Dawn Olmstead will continue in their roles as head of Universal Television and Universal Content Productions respectively, jointly reporting to Hammer and Cheeks.
Paul Telegdy, most recently Co-Chairman of NBC Entertainment alongside Cheeks, will become the sole Chairman of NBC Entertainment, reporting to Jeff Shell, Chairman of NBCUniversal Film and Entertainment. Telegdy will also continue to oversee syndication and Universal Television Alternative Studio as Universal Television’s scripted series operation moves under Hammer.
Mark Lazarus continues as Chairman of NBCUniversal Broadcast, Cable, Sports and News, overseeing the cable entertainment networks, NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC, NBC Sports, the owned-and-operated local stations, and affiliate relations.
“Bonnie’s great taste, deep Hollywood relationships, and strong track record of generating popular and award-winning programming make her ideally suited to oversee this new division. With our studios being a main pipeline for Peacock’s original content, she will continue to be integral to the future success of our streaming business,” said Burke.
He added, “I worked with Matt for many years at Comcast Cable, and know firsthand that he is one of the most talented leaders in our company. He has great experience with video, digital technology, and streaming and is the right person for the role at this juncture.”
Prior to joining Peacock, Hammer had executive oversight of the cable entertainment portfolio, including USA Network, Syfy, Bravo, E! Entertainment, Universal Kids, and the cable studios.
Strauss was most recently EVP of XFINITY Services for Comcast Cable, where he oversaw the video, Internet, home, and voice businesses.
Unlike Hammer, Strauss has no programming experience. Seasoned Universal programming executive Bill McGoldrick has been overseeing development for Peacock. There likely be more news on the programming executive team of the platform.
As Co-Chairmen of NBC Entertainment for the past year, Cheeks and Telegdy were jointly responsible for overseeing all aspects of primetime, late-night, and scripted daytime programming for the NBC network.
NBCUniversal last month revealed Peacock as the name and April as the launch month for its streaming service. Among the series that will be available when the service goes live and further down the line are four new dramas — including Sam Esmail’s take on Battlestar Galactica — and reboots of the decades-old NBC comedies Saved by the Bell and Punky Brewster.
There also will be a Season 4 of the NBC comedy series A.P. Bio, a limited series about L.A. billboard queen Angelyne, a weekly late-night program, The Amber Ruffin Show, and the upcoming second followup TV movie to USA Network dramedy Psych, starring James Roday and Dulé Hill. On the unscripted side, Peacock will launch with Who Wrote That and an untitled Real Housewives franchise spinoff.