NBC Universal Elevates Cable Unit's Jeff Gaspin

Will Act as 'Traffic Cop' For Distribution, Adds Oversight of Telemundo

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- NBC's one-time "cable guy" is getting a broader set of responsibilities. Jeff Gaspin, president of NBC Universal Cable and Digital Content, has been named president-chief operating officer of NBC's Universal Television Group. His portfolio now includes executive oversight of the Telemundo network and its 16 owned-and-operated stations as well as the company's first-run and off-network syndication efforts.
Jeff Gaspin
Jeff Gaspin

Mr. Gaspin will continue his oversight of NBC Universal's cable operations. He also maintains his supervision of TV networks distribution, and continues to report to NBC Universal President-Chief Executive Jeff Zucker.

Directing traffic
Distribution of content will continue to be a key focus for Mr. Gaspin, who said his move reflects NBC's desire to streamline decisions regarding how and where content gets placed. At a time when more consumers are able to view entertainment via broadband connections to the Internet and on mobile devices, figuring out how best to reach viewers and measure their response is becoming more paramount at the companies that produce the nation's best-known TV programs. "If content is going to be ubiquitous, you need to have a traffic cop to help guide it," Mr. Gaspin said.

With many media companies focusing on streaming video and providing content for downloads in the recent past, Mr. Gaspin believes the time has come to ponder next steps: "The ability to hyper-target consumers is something that we are certainly focused on," he said. "There's a bright future for 'FOD' [free-on-demand content]. You'll see us do some interesting FOD." Devising progressive advertising ideas are also part of that picture, he said.

Long TV resume
Mr. Gaspin has a long history at NBC Universal and in the TV industry. He led Bravo after NBC said in 2002 it would acquire the cable outlet. Among his achievements there were getting programs such as "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" and "Project Runway" on the air. In the late 1990s, he worked at Viacom's VH1 cable outlet, where he saw the rise of the now-famous series "Behind the Music."

Mr. Gaspin's career started at NBC in 1984, first working in its stations division, then moving in 1987 to NBC News. He has also had a stint, starting in March 2001, as exec VP- alternative series, long-form specials and program strategy.
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