Frances Berwick Elevated, Paul Telegdy Out In NBCUniversal TV & Streaming Group Restructuring


Paul Telegdy is exiting his post as NBC Entertainment chairman as NBCUniversal today unveiled the new centralized structure under Mark Lazarus, Chairman of NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. It includes a larger role for Lifestyle Networks president Frances Berwick.

As expected, the reorganization is consolidating all NBCU English-language linear networks into one group, overseen by Berwick on the business side and an executive to be named later on the programming side.

Word is that NBCU is looking at candidates internally and externally for the job. One possible scenario that has been buzzed about involves Bill McGoldrick, currently President, Original Content, NBCUniversal Entertainment Networks and Direct-to-Consumer, potentially adding NBC programming oversight.

Telegdy’s departure comes a week after he became the subject of an internal investigation into allegations of professional misconduct. In June, he also was named in a discrimination action by Gabrielle Union over her firing from America’s Got Talent.

Joining NBC in 2008, Telegdy became the sole chairman of NBC Entertainment last fall while continuing to oversee syndication and Universal Television Alternative Studio. The veteran reality TV exec shepherded a string of successful new unscripted series on NBC, led by The Voice.

Per NBCU, the newly restructured TV and Streaming group will consist of “distinct and horizontally integrated business units that will share resources and staff.” That will inevitably lead to cuts and layoffs, which NBCUni CEO Jeff Shell had alluded to. The group’s Telemundo and regional sports network already have been impacted, with others to follow.

Here are the new divisions in NBCUniversal’s Television and Streaming group that will now report directly to Lazarus:

• The Entertainment Business unit will report to Berwick. That includes Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks—USA Network and Syfy. Berwick will have operational oversight of all networks and dayparts and be responsible for commissioning and acquiring content to be optimized across these platforms. Additionally, Berwick’s team will implement windowing and scheduling strategies across the NBC broadcast network and the cable entertainment networks. 

• The Entertainment Programming unit will consist of three content groups: scripted programming, unscripted programming, late-night and alternative. It will have oversight of all original entertainment programming for the NBC broadcast network, the cable entertainment networks and Peacock. Leaders for those groups will be named once the Entertainment Programming head is appointed in the second phase of restructuring.  This unit will work in close partnership with the company’s internal studios (Universal Television, UCP, Universal Television Alternative Studios and NBCUniversal International Studios), whose leadership is currently staying intact, as well as outside production companies.

• The Direct-To-Consumer unit will be led by Matt Strauss, who will continue to oversee Peacock, the company’s new streaming service. Peacock will maintain its own separate team within the division, while sharing the programming and acquisition function with the entertainment units in the portfolio. International Networks, run by Ken Bettsteller, and Fandango, run by Paul Yanover, will also report to Strauss.

NBC Sports will continue to be led by Pete Bevacqua, whose team will work with the entire portfolio on scheduling and sports-related content.

Additionally, the division includes Telemundo Enterprises, led by Beau Ferrari; the NBCUniversal Owned and Operated Stations, led by Val Staab; and Affiliate Relations, led by Phil Martzolf. Both Telemundo and the local station group as well as affiliate relations will continue to report to Lazarus and operate as separate business units within the portfolio.

“We have an unparalleled portfolio that is now in an even stronger position to drive growth for the business. With the power of NBC and the broadcast model, coupled with the strong cable entertainment brands and the new addition of Peacock, we have massive scale and a deep library of valuable content that can live across platforms,” said Lazarus. “We are incredibly fortunate to have some of the most talented executives in the industry leading the charge and am confident that we are poised to win in this competitive landscape.”

Several additional executives have been promoted to Lazarus’s headquarters team whose functions will support the entire division. These include Finance, led by Christy Shibata; Human Resources, led by Brian Dorfler; Business Development, led by Dave Pietrycha; and Legal, led by Andra Shapiro.

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