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Five weeks after joining NBCUniversal, Susan Rovner has put her stamp on the company’s TV and streaming division by setting her programming leadership team.
The main takeaways from the reshuffle, which Rovner shared via an internal memo, are Lisa Katz becoming President of Scripted Content and Rovner splitting the unscripted portfolio between reality shows and competition formats/game shows.
Interestingly, five of the six execs named to the leadership are women.
The latest reshuffle, which follows the restructure by Television and Streaming Chairman Mark Lazarus, has led to the departure of Bill McGoldrick, President of Original Content at NBCUniversal Entertainment Networks and Direct-to-Consumer.
McGoldrick, who most recently oversaw original content for Peacock and scripted series across its cable group, is the latest top exec to exit NBCU. On Monday, it was revealed that NBC’s Co-President of Scripted Programming Tracey Pakosta was moving to Netflix to become Head of Comedy, while Chris McCumber, who was President, Entertainment Networks, USA Network & Syfy, joined Blumhouse Television as President and Paul Telegdy exited in August.
Pakosta previously shared the role with Katz, who has now been elevated to the top scripted position across the company. Katz will now be responsible for development, current programming and casting across entertainment television and streaming.
During her previous role, which she took in February 2018, she was responsible for developing and championing shows including This Is Us, Good Girls, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, Manifest and New Amsterdam. She joined the network in 2016 as EVP Drama Development from 20th Century Fox Television.
On the unscripted side, Rovner is splitting non-scripted into two. Rod Aissa, who has shepherded E!’s production slate with shows such as Keeping Up with the Kardashians becomes EVP Unscripted Content, overseeing all unscripted lifestyle and documentary programming across the portfolio.
Jenny Groom, an NBC veteran who currently oversees shows including The Voice, America’s Got Talent, Ellen’s Game of Games and American Ninja Warrior, becomes EVP Unscripted Content to include the oversight of reality competition, talent competition, and game show formats across the portfolio. She was previously EVP Alternative Programming and Development for NBC.
Rovner said the decision to break unscripted programming into two areas was in order to accommodate the nearly 200 unscripted projects across its eight platforms.
Elsewhere, Tracie Wilson, who has been with the NBCU family for 20 years, most recently as EVP Creative Affairs, becomes EVP Syndication Studios. Wilson led the launch of The Kelly Clarkson Show and spearheaded the Access rebrand.
Katie Hockmeyer, who oversees SNL, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers and A Little Late with Lilly Singh, continues in her role as EVP Late Night, having becoming the NBC network’s first dedicated late-night chief in a number of years.
Finally, Jen Neal has been promoted to EVP Live Events, Specials and E! News. Neal, who led E!’s Live Events and News divisions including The People’s Choice Awards, will now oversee this area for the whole television and streaming division.
Rovner, in the internal memo, said that her first four weeks had been “incredible”. “I’ve spent the better part of it becoming immersed in this incredible organization, meeting many new people and watching a lot of television. A big thank you to everyone who has shared their expertise and helped me get up to speed,” she said.
“I accepted this role because Jeff Shell’s and Mark Lazarus’ vision for this new organization was so compelling that it became undeniable. Spending these past few weeks with the people charged with executing that vision – not only Jeff [Shell] and Mark [Lazarus], but also Frances [Berwick], Matt [Strauss] and their leadership teams – have given me great confidence that together we’re going to be able to fulfill on that promise of building an unrivaled home for both storytellers and audiences alike,” she added.
She called her new team “a group of tremendous leaders” and said that they will charged with finding, developing and nurturing the best content across NBC, Bravo, E!, Oxygen, Syfy, Universal Kids, USA and Peacock.
“We very much appreciate your patience and support as these leaders work to thoughtfully align their teams and develop their own organizational structures, which will take place over the next few months,” she said. “The level of experience, expertise and creativity in this collective group is overwhelming, and I am thrilled by the sheer idea of the great television we are all going to make together.
Frances Berwick, who will work closely with Rovner on the business side, unveiled her leadership team in September.