A trio of NBCUniversal executives are set to get expanded roles at NBCUniversal, as the company preps to launch its own streaming service.
Longtime cable networks chief Bonnie Hammer will shift over to head up NBCU’s streaming operations, while Mark Lazarus and Jeff Shell will see their roles expanded.
Hammer’s new title will be chairman of Direct-to-Consumer and Digital Enterprises for NBCU, and Hammer will also oversee the company’s stakes in digital-media outlets like Vox Media, Snap and BuzzFeed. The company, which teased an upcoming streaming service in a holiday card last year, announced it will launch its own offering in 2020, which will be free to NBCU’s subscribers and ad-supported.
Comcast Cable and Sky, which Comcast purchased last year, will provide the service to their 52 million subscribers. Hammer’s team will include executives from Sky’s own streaming service, Now TV.
NBCUniversal will join a streaming space that is quickly filling up. Along with the main players Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and CBS All Access, Disney, WarnerMedia, Walmart and Apple are all planning to launch their own offerings this year.
Lazarus, who has run NBC’s sports operations since 2011, will assume Hammer’s cable duties and get the new title of chairman, NBCUniversal Broadcast, Cable, Sports and News. Shell, currently chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, will expand his duties and become chairman of NBCUniversal Film and Entertainment, adding oversight of NBC Entertainment, Telemundo, and NBCU’s international operations.
“NBCUniversal has some of the world’s most valuable intellectual property and top talent, both in front of and behind the camera. Many of the most-watched shows on today’s popular streaming platforms come from NBCUniversal. Our new service will be different than those presently in the market and it will be built on the company’s strengths, with NBCUniversal’s great content and the technology expertise, broad scale and the wide distribution of Comcast Cable and Sky,” said Steve Burke, CEO, NBCUniversal.
As part of the reorganization, Donna Langley has been promoted to become sole chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, including the addition of Global Theatrical Distribution and Home Entertainment. Hammer, Lazarus and Shell will continue to report directly to Burke. Langley continues to report to Shell.