NBCUniversal to Lay Off 50 People as Susan Rovner Sets Content Development Team

Latest restructure will result in around 50 people being laid off

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Susan Rovner finalized her Entertainment Content executive team on Tuesday, a few months after she joined NBCUniversal to lead its newly formed development unit.

Rovner was hired last year over from Warner Bros. to lead NBCU’s Entertainment Content (i.e. program development) business. That came after a massive reorganization under NBCU CEO Jeff Shell, who restructured the television side of the business into three parts: direct to consumer, entertainment programming and entertainment business. Peacock chief Matt Strauss runs the direct to consumer unit, while Frances Berwick heads up the entertainment business division, where she’ll work closely with Rovner.

As part of Tuesday’s restructure, roughly 50 people will be leaving the company, with the majority coming from inside the division. There were additional cuts in scheduling, acquisitions and marketing.

Here is how the new structure under Rovner is laid out:

  • Under Lisa Katz, President, Scripted Content:
    • Cara Dellaverson (EVP, Drama Series, Entertainment Content) & Alex Sepiol (EVP, Drama Series, Entertainment Content) will co-lead Drama Current & Development
    • Jeff Meyerson (EVP, Comedy Series, Entertainment Content) will lead Comedy Current & Development
    • Michael Sluchan (EVP, Current Series and Co-Productions, Entertainment Content) will lead Movies, Kids Programming and Co-Productions
  • Under Jenny Groom, EVP, Unscripted Content (Talent Competition, Game Show)
    • Sharon Vuong will lead Development (SVP, Unscripted Development, Entertainment Content)
    • Shelby Shaftel will lead Current Programming (SVP, Unscripted Current Programing, Entertainment Content)
  • Under Rod Aissa, EVP, Unscripted Content (Lifestyle, Docuseries)
    • Rachel Smith will lead Development (EVP, Unscripted Development, Entertainment Content)
    • Shari Levine will lead Current Programming (EVP, Unscripted Current Production, Entertainment Content)

Shell has overhauled NBCU’s TV and streaming operations since taking over for Steve Burke last January. That began with ousting Paul Telegdy, who had been accused of numerous instances of toxic behavior, as NBC Entertainment chairman, along with unscripted chief Meredith Ahr, who was also terminated. Longtime USA and Syfy Network head Chris McCumber also exited as part of the reorganization, as did Bill McGoldrick, president of original content for NBCU’s entertainment networks and direct-to-consumer.


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