Considering that Jeff Zucker and Allison Gollust worked closely together back when he was succeeding at NBC News, it’s understandable that he would turn to her now when his personal PR is at an all-time low. So today, he appointed her EVP of Corporate Communications for NBC Universal and in charge of his newly created PR War Room reporting to him as of July 13th. She succeeds Cory Shields. “Gollust will be responsible for communications policies and strategic positioning of NBC Universal’s global assets, content and executives. She will oversee the company’s domestic and international media strategy and execution, executive communications, internal communications, corporate philanthropy, and community relations. She will serve as the chief spokesperson for Zucker and NBC Universal,” the news release stated. “‘Allison is an accomplished communications strategist who I’ve had the good fortune of working closely with for more than a decade,” said Zucker. “She brings a wealth of experience to this position, not only in her broad knowledge of this company, but of the media landscape at large. Her talents have earned her the respect of her colleagues and constituents, and will serve NBC Universal well for many years to come.'” Gollust has served as Senior Vice President of NBC News Communications since 2005. She’ll have her work cut out for her in her new job. Zucker is now trying to convince compliant media like The New York Times‘ Bill Carter that it’s fine for Conan O’Brien to have great demos even if The Tonight Show is getting less eyeballs than at any time since Nielsen started recording its ratings. Or that next fall the flailing network won’t fall behind even Univision. Or that Ben Silverman wasn’t a disaster of a hire. Or that Universal isn’t having a lousy Summer 2009 so far with one of the most expensive flops of 2009 — Will Ferrell’s Land Of The Lost. (Though Bruno opening Friday is expected to do well.) Or Zucker’s anti-competitive freeze-out of The Hollywood Reporter. But most of her time will obviously be spent on lobbying journalists that Jeff isn’t considered one of the most kiss-ass incompetents to run an entertainment company.
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