Jeff Wachtel And Chris McCumber Named USA Network Co-Presidents

With Bonnie Hammer taking on a much larger portfolio following the NBC-Comcast merger, she is ceding control over day-to-day operations of NBCUniversal’s flagship cable network USA.

Hammer will continue to oversee USA, which will now be run jointly by Jeff Wachtel and Chris McCumber. Wachtel and McCumber, who both joined USA in 2001, have been named co-presidents of USA Network. Both will be involved in every aspect of USA’s business, reporting to Hammer, chairman of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment and Cable Studios. “USA will remain a top priority for me, and I can’t think of a better team to build on the network’s incredible momentum,” Hammer said. “Not only have Chris and Jeff performed consistently at the top of their games, their collaborative style is a critical part of USA’s DNA and a key component of the network’s success.” The setup resembles that at USA sibling Syfy, which Hammer also used to run. Now that is done by the network’s president Dave Howe. In her expanded post-merger role, Hammer oversees USA, Syfy and Universal Cable Prods. as well as E!, G4, Chiller and Sleuth.

Wachtel has been USA’s head of original programming, first as EVP and most recently as president, overseeing development of scripted series, original movies and miniseries as well as non-scripted content.  Additionally, he serves as co-head of creative for production arm Universal Cable Prods. Wachtel has led USA’s current foray into original series with such shows as Burn Notice, Royal Pains, White Collar, Covert Affairs, Psych, In Plain Sight, Monk and The Dead Zone. McCumber had been in charge of USA’s marketing and branding, first as SVP and most recently as EVP. He conceived the network’s Characters Welcome branding campaign and oversaw the launch of the network’s Characters Unite pro-social initiative. He also serves as executive in charge of all WWE programming across all networks.

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