I hear that NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt is in negotiations to leave the network after nearly eight years. Talks are ongoing, with a resolution expected as early as this weekend. Reps for NBC declined comment.
Rumors about Greenblatt’s pending departure started circulating during Emmy weekend. They largely were dismissed at the time, though sources close to Greenblatt admitted that he had been re-evaluating his career and life following the unexpected death of his close friend, producer Craig Zadan.
Greenblatt, who is rumored to be possibly be going back to producing, is leaving NBC on a high. The network logged another No. 1 finish in adults 18-49 for the 2017-18 broadcast season, marking its fourth win in five years. And just a few days ago, NBC claimed its first 52-week total viewer win In 16 years while toping September-to-September demo ratings for a fifth consecutive year.
Greenblatt most recently renewed his contract last year, when he told Deadline, “I’m going to be here for a long time.”
Greenblatt has been overseeing NBC and sister studio Universal TV since January 2011, when he was handpicked by Comcast to lead the broadcast network following the company’s acquisition of NBCUniversal.
Greenblatt is well liked by NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke, to whom he reports, and the Comcast brass and has been enjoying unwavering support since Day 1. Even when things got rocky early on, Burke and Comcast showed their full confidence in Greenblatt with an early contract renewal in fall 2013.
NBC has been on a tear since then. The network finished the 2016-17 TV season at No. 1 in the key 18-49 demographic, marking the first time in five years any network has finished on top without the Super Bowl or an Olympics. NBC also has been flying high on the success of its drama series This Is Us, a breakout hit and a formidable awards contender.
In 2014, Greenblatt — a longtime Broadway producer, investor and fan — saw his NBCUniversal portfolio expanded to also include oversight of the company’s live-theater division, Universal Stage Productions.
At NBC, Greenblatt had spent his tenure with the same core senior team before president of entertainment Jennifer Salke recently left to head Amazon Studios. Paul Telegdy, President of the Alternative and Reality Group, was already at the network when Greenblatt came on board and continues to lead alternative for the network as well as an alternative studio he launched two years ago. He would be considered an internal contender to succeed Greenblatt, with NBCU Cable boss Bonnie Hammer and UCP’s George Cheeks also talked about.