EXCLUSIVE: NBC‘s president of entertainment Jennifer Salke is getting some additional responsibility — to oversee Universal Television. The promotion was built into Salke’s contract when she first joined NBC last July from 20th Century Fox TV. Because of her high-level position at 20th TV, where she served as EVP Creative Affairs, the studio component of Salke’s NBC job does not kick in until a year after she joined the network. I hear Salke will now be involved in the workings of Universal TV as NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt wanted to take advantage of her 9-year studio expertise.
In the past year, Greenblatt focused on transitioning Universal TV from an NBC production arm into a full-fledged studio that supplies all broadcast and cable networks. Bela Bajaria, who joined Universal TV as EVP last August, has been key in Universal TV’s turnaround and will report to Greenblatt and Salke. She will continue to run day-to-day operations of the studio. I hear NBC brass are very happy with Bajaria’s first year on the job, which resulted in eight new series for NBC and one — high-profile comedy The Mindy Project — for Fox, as well as the The Bates Motel for A&E and the newly announced international co-production Dracula for NBC. The goal is to continue to expand Uni TV’s footprint in broadcast and cable.
The setup with Salke and Bajaria is reminiscent of that at ABC, where Paul Lee has oversight of both the network and ABC Studio while the studio’s creative affairs are run by Patrick Moran.