NBC has renewed entertainment chief Bob Greenblatt’s contract through 2017.
The move represents a huge vote of confidence in Greenblatt, who has helped lead the network out of fourth place since taking the job in 2011, when Comcast acquired NBCU.
Since then, he has helped launched NBC’s biggest new hit, “The Voice,” as well as “Revolution,” the biggest new network show of the 2012-13 season.
The announcement came moments after NBC announced it had landed in second place in the 18-49 demographic from September 2012 thorugh September 2013 for the first time in a decade.
September to September is an odd time frame to count, and the announcement seemed designed to tout Greenblatt’s success just before the renewal news. Advertisers traditionally follow the September through May calendar, in which NBC has edged out ABC for third.
The former Showtime boss has improved NBC’s place in the standings at a time when all the networks are down in the ratings. He has tried to eke out wins during traditional slow periods, like summer, a strategy his competition is also adopting as viewers become more scarce.
NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke said this month that NBC is $500 million to $1 billion behind its rivals in profitability, and needs higher ratings and more ad sales.
But Friday’s news signals that NBC thinks Greenblatt is on the right track.