Robert Greenblatt Named Chairman of NBC Universal TV Entertainment As Part of Comcast Merger
Former Showtime President Robert Greenblatt has been named chairman of NBC Universal TV Entertainment as part of a major companywide restructuring, Deadline reports.
Greenblatt will be responsible for all prime-time and late-night programming and NBC Universal Media Studios, among other duties. Greenblatt comes to NBC after seven years as Showtime chief. During his tenure, Greenblatt helped turn the pay-cable channel into a formidable competitor to HBO with ratings hits including Dexter and critical darlings such as United States of Tara and Nurse Jackie
NBC Universal TV Entertainment Chairman Jeff Gaspin leaving network
The restructuring is part of NBC Universal's planned merger with cable giant Comcast, scheduled to be finalized at the beginning of next year. As part of the merger, Comcast CEO Steve Burke will replace Jeff Zucker, the CEO of NBC Universal since 2007.
Greenblatt replaces Jeff Gaspin, who had served as chairman since July 2009. Gaspin announced he was leaving the company Monday because he and Burke "could not agree on an appropriate role" for him in the new corporate structure.
Joining Burke from Comcast is Ted Harbet, who will serve as NBC Broadcasting chairman, overseeing the network's stations and affiliates and domestic syndication.
Steve Burke to replace Jeff Zucker as NBC Universal CEO
Besides new hires such as Greenblatt and Harbet, Burke announced the promotion of several key executives within NBC Universal.
Lauren Zalaznick is being upped from president of NBCU Women and Lifestyle Entertainment to chairwoman of NBC Universal Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media. She now will be in charge of Fandango, Telemundo, mun2 and Style, as well as continuing with Bravo, Oxygen and iVillage.
Bonnie Hammer, who has led USA Networks and SyFy Channel, is being promoted from president to chairman of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment and Cable Studios. She will now also oversee Comcast properties including E! Entertainment, G4 and Sleuth.
NBC adds third Thursday night comedy hour; unveils midseason prime-time schedule
Network veteran Dick Ebersol, who has served as chairman of NBC Sports & Olympics since 1998, will become chairman of NBC Sports Group. In addition to his duties at NBC (which include the Olympics and Sunday Night Football), Ebersol will manage The Golf Channel, Versus and Comcast Regional Sports Networks.
All leadership changes will take effect once the merger has been approved.
The news comes four days after NBC announced a major revamp of its prime-time lineup. Beginning in January, NBC will add a third hour of comedy on Thursday nights and will make room for midseason series The Cape, Harry's Law and Perfect Couples.