In a restructuring move in the cable division of the post-merger NBCUniversal which is run by Lauren Zalaznick, her top lieutenant, Bravo’s president and general manager Frances Berwick, is also getting oversight of Style, which came from the Comcast side of the company. Berwick, a 15-year Bravo veteran, is being named president of Bravo and Style Media. She will continue to report to Zalaznick. Salaam Coleman will remain President of Style but will now report to Berwick. Here is the release:
NEW YORK – July 19, 2011 – NBCUniversal today announced the promotion of Frances Berwick to President of Bravo and Style Media. The move gives Berwick, who has been with Bravo Media for 15 years, strategic oversight of the Style Network which became part of NBCUniversal during the Comcast and GE joint venture transaction. Salaam Coleman Smith will continue as President of Style and will report to Berwick.
In her new role, Berwick will continue to spearhead Bravo Media’s day-to-day operations but she now will partner with Coleman Smith to help drive Style’s overall growth, with a special focus on identifying cross-platform synergies and capitalizing on company-wide opportunities organic to Style’s core business mandate.
“Frances’ tenure at Bravo has been marked by industry-leading ratings and revenue growth,” said Lauren Zalaznick, Chairman, NBCUniversal Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media, to whom Berwick will continue to report. “She has been enormously successful in leading a team to create an immersive brand experience for the consumer. I know that she will bring that same vision for cultural zeitgeist and keen sensibility to Style as we evolve and grow this network in the months and years to come.”
In the past year since Berwick was elevated from General Manager to President of Bravo Media, she presided over the network’s double-digit growth across every platform, delivering unprecedented record ratings and financial upside. She increased overall programming by 21 percent in 2010 – with an additional 10 percent increase slated for 2011; received the network’s first Primetime Emmy Award in the Outstanding Reality Competition category for Top Chef in 2010 and collected five Emmy-nominations for 2011, including four for Top Chef. And she continued the network’s innovative partnerships that have become the hallmark of Bravo Media, collaborating with FourSquare, Groupon, Twitter and Facebook with groundbreaking network and industry firsts.
During her tenure as General Manager from 2008-2010, Berwick oversaw a 33 percent increase in original programming and she oversaw four consecutive years where the network achieved record-breaking successes across all ratings and financial metrics. And in 2008, the network was awarded a prestigious Peabody Award for Project Runway. Additionally, the network completed a refresh of the Bravo Media brand with the ‘By Bravo’ tagline in 2009. With a mandate to evolve Bravo from a television network into a lifestyle brand, Bravo also created three “Top Chef” cookbooks (two landed on the New York Times best-sellers list), a “Real Housewives” franchise book, along with numerous programming consumer products extensions – from flowers, wine and frozen foods, to the Fashion by Bravo clothing line, all while delivering more than a 30 percent increase in total revenue to the network since 2008.
From 2005-2008, Berwick was Executive Vice President, Programming and Production, where she supervised all Bravo’s development, production, scheduling and acquisitions. Earlier in her Bravo career, Berwick oversaw the development and production for the explosive, Emmy-winning series “Queer Eye” that changed the face of Bravo; after the 2002 NBC acquisition of the brand, she developed, produced and launched Emmy winners “Top Chef” and “Project Runway,” two-time Emmy winner “Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List,” pop-culture hits “Flipping Out,” “The Rachel Zoe Project,” “Work Out,” as well as Bravo’s water cooler phenomenon “The Real Housewives” franchise. Since 1996, she also has overseen the channel’s longest-running original series, 14-time Emmy-nominated, “Inside the Actor’s Studio.”
Berwick joined Bravo Networks in 1996 from Britain’s Channel 4 Television, where she headed international TV distribution and licensing. Prior to that, she was in the sponsorship division at Sadler’s Wells (a leading London Theater), where she raised funds for stage productions.