Ben Silverman is vacating his position as co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, after two-plus years on the job.
Silverman will remain on board for several weeks to assist in the launch of fourth-place NBC's fall schedule, the network said in a news release. Jeff Gaspin, president and CEO of the NBC Universal Television Entertainment, has been promoted to chairman (where he will report to NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker), effective immediately.
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As a founder of the Reveille production house, Silverman executive-produced such hits as The Office, Ugly Betty and The Biggest Loser. He also is credited with helping save the critically acclaimed Friday Night Lights through an innovative cost-sharing deal with DirecTV (which gets first dibs on new episodes).
Big-picture ratings success, however, eluded Silverman during his reign. A full 20 of the 25 shows that debuted during his tenure have now been canceled; Chuck, Southland and Parks and Recreation are the only continuing scripted programs.
Upon his exit from NBC, Silverman will form a new media company with IAC's Barry Diller, one of Reveille's first investors. The as-yet-unnamed business will invite develop content for TV, the Internet and other mediums with upfront involvement from advertisers.
The venture, Diller said in a news release, "will take full advantage of all areas of Ben Silverman's extensive media expertise — as an agent, producer and advertising innovator— to create a truly integrated and truly interactive new media production entity... that bridges the gap between traditional television and the Internet."
Silverman spearheaded a similar effort with NBC's annual "Infront" event, by which advertisers get involved very early on in a show's production process, allowing for greater product integration — thus offsetting costs for producers.