news 5 days ago

Frances Berwick Unveils Leadership Team For NBCU’s Entertainment Business Unit


Frances Berwick has revealed the senior leadership team that will work under her as part of NBCUniversal’s Entertainment Business division.

The former Lifestyle Networks president took on the larger role within the company as part of a restructure that saw Paul Telegdy exit his post as NBC Entertainment Chairman.

This comes as Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks, USA Network & Syfy, is leaving NBCUniversal after 19 years at the company’s flagship entertainment cable networks.

NBCU consolidated all of its English-language linear networks into one group, overseen by Berwick on the business side. Berwick will have operational oversight of all networks and dayparts and be responsible for commissioning and acquiring content to be optimized across these platforms. Additionally, Berwick’s team will implement windowing and scheduling strategies across the NBC broadcast network and the cable entertainment networks.

Susan Rovner, who Warner Bros confirmed was leaving her role as President of Warner Bros Television, is expected to work alongside Berwick on the programming side.

Jeff Bader will lead program planning, adding the six cable entertainment networks to his current NBC oversight.

Val Boreland will expand her responsibilities of buying and curating content across the Entertainment and Lifestyle cable group to oversee acquisitions across all of its networks and platforms including Peacock.

Liz Mahaffey, who oversaw Peacock’s launch as the leader of their consumer insights team, will now add to her remit research and insights for the entertainment brands, centralizing and prioritizing its audience intelligence efforts and driving cross platform insights.  She will also manage the corporate research function.

Lauren McCollester will become head of business affairs.

Jenny Storms will build upon her role at NBC Sports by adding entertainment marketing to her purview. She will continue to report into Pete Bevacqua, President, NBC Sports Group for her sports responsibilities.

Chip Sullivan, who has led communications for NBC Entertainment for the past five years, will now take on the role of head of communications across all of its entertainment networks.  Chip’s responsibilities will encompass internal and external communications, publicity and talent relations.

In an internal note to staff, she said she had the “pleasure of spending some time during these last few weeks with leaders across our groups.  As we begin to build our new division, I have been consistently impressed, although not at all surprised, at the level of talent and expertise we have within our midst.”

“These executives were selected from across the portfolio for their deep knowledge, diverse set of experiences and desire to lean into change as a force to bring our business into the future,” she added.

“Our goal is to bring clarity as quickly as possible keeping in mind that our top priority is to make decisions in a thoughtful and informed way,” she wrote. “Change can cause uncertainty, and I do not underestimate the difficulty of navigating this time while also doing all that is required to keep creating great content and keeping our consumers engaged. And while change can bring challenges, it also brings opportunity.  By aligning resources and harnessing expertise from across our portfolio, we can build centralized teams that are more nimble, innovative, and overall better equipped to compete in this ever-evolving content landscape.”

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