NBCU Cable Hit With Layoffs as Lifestyle Networks Combine Operations

Layoffs expected to amount to less than 5% of current staff

Last Updated: September 19, 2019 @ 10:55 AM

NBCUniversal has been hit with another round of layoffs as the company moves to further integrate its lifestyle networks.

The layoffs come as the company’s lifestyle networks further integrate operations following the departure of E! president Adam Stotsky earlier this month.

The reorganization divides Stotsky’s responsibilities to other executives at the company, combining E!’s marking, communications, development and programming operations with that of the other brands in the entertainment and lifestyle group. All will report to Frances Berwick, president of lifestyle networks.

NBCUniversal declined to comment on the number of employees who will be laid off, but an individual familiar with the situation said it is expected to amount to less than 5% of current staff across the group, which comprises cable networks Bravo, E!, Oxygen and others.

E! development exec Betsy Slenzak will jump to NBCU’s upcoming streaming service, Peacock, taking on a new role as vice president of unscripted development. Her previous responsibilities will be taken on by Bravo’s Rachel Smith, who has been promoted to executive vice president of development, Bravo & E!

Read Berwick’s memo to staff announcing the reorganization below.

Today the Lifestyle Group is making some changes to better organize ourselves for the future. I’m confident that this new structure, which creates multi-brand roles, will allow us to continue to grow the business and optimize our internal talent. With that, I’m excited to announce the following changes to my leadership team:

Effective immediately, Jen Neal, previously EVP E! Marketing & Live Events, has been promoted to General Manager, E! News, Live Events and Lifestyle Digital. In her new role, she will oversee the expanded E! News Operation and manage the Digital assets across Bravo, E!, Oxygen & Universal Kids. Jen will continue to oversee Live Events at E! including the People’s Choice Awards and Live from the Red Carpet.

Ellen Stone, currently EVP Marketing Bravo, Oxygen and Universal Kids, will assume responsibility for E! marketing as EVP, Marketing, Lifestyle Networks, creating a singular marketing team across all four Lifestyle brands.

Jennifer Geisser, SVP Communications for Bravo, Oxygen and Universal Kids, is adding E! to her role as well as overseeing talent relations and is promoted to SVP, Communications and Talent Relations for the Lifestyle Networks.

In an effort to further strengthen our creative position in the marketplace, we are combining Bravo and E! development and promoting Rachel Smith, currently SVP, Bravo Development, to EVP, Development, Bravo & E!

Rod Aissa, currently EVP, Programming & Development, Oxygen, will expand his role to also oversee production for E! as EVP, Original Programming, Oxygen and E! Production.

Shari Levine will continue in her role as EVP Production, Bravo.

All of these roles will report directly to me, effective immediately.

Holly Tang, CFO and Head of Production Operations, Lifestyle Networks, and Dave Kaplan, SVP Strategic Insights and Research, Lifestyle Networks, will also continue to report to me.

Lastly, in conjunction with the Entertainment Networks, Val Boreland, currently EVP, Content Strategy for the Entertainment Networks, will take on a new role as EVP, Content Strategy, Entertainment & Lifestyle Group. In her expanded role, Val will lead the program scheduling and acquisition teams across USA, SYFY, Bravo, E!, Oxygen and Universal Kids. In addition, Val will manage a newly-centralized promotion scheduling team across all six channels of the Entertainment & Lifestyle group. Val will co-report to me and Chris McCumber, President Entertainment Networks.

I realize that this is major change for us, but I believe this leadership team and new structure, along with the talented employees working across all these brands, will drive our continued success.

Frances

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