NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- NBC said it would restructure its studio and network-programming division, confirming several weeks of speculation about what the Peacock network might do to correct a recent spate of disappointing show launches.
NBC said it was bringing back Angela Bromstad from an international post to oversee scripted entertainment. Ms. Bromstad will serve as president of prime-time entertainment for NBC and Universal Media Studios. Meanwhile, Paul Telegdy, a former BBC Worldwide America executive and "Dancing With the Stars" producer, will oversee NBC's unscripted and specials programming, serving as exec VP-alternative programming, NBC and Universal Media Studios.
NBC said it was combining the two units, part of an effort to "right-size and realign our organization" and "eliminate layers of bureaucracy" facing show-runners, writers and directors, said Marc Graboff, co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios.
NBC has been making radical shifts in its business operations during the past year, which executives at its parent, NBC Universal, often portray as moves that led the rest of the broadcast-TV business into a new era in which consumers have more power to avoid commercials and watch shows as they please. At the same time, it's no secret that the NBC broadcast network has not fared as well as its rivals in recent years. NBC Universal said last week it would cut about 500 employees to prepare what it said would be a difficult 2009.
"Clearly we would have liked all of these shows to be strong and I'm personally disappointed that they didn't deliver bigger audiences than they did," said Ben Silverman, co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios. "Obviously, it's not the results we are satisfied with, but what I would also add is that we need to be patient."
As part of the restructuring, Teri Weinberg, who has served as exec VP-NBC Entertainment, will work under her contract through a transition period before launching her own production company. Ms. Weinberg was widely seen as a lieutenant to Mr. Silverman, who was brought on last year in hopes his past production expertise would help spark a turnaround in NBC's fortunes.
Craig Plestis, who has been exec VP-alternative programming, development and specials, will launch and become president of a new production banner, Apogee Studios, under a deal through a newly formed alternative studio housed within Universal Media Studios and run by Mr. Telegdy. Mr. Plestis will continue in his current role until Mr. Telegdy joins NBC in early January. Left in the wind for now is the fate of Katherine Pope, president of NBC Universal Media Studios. Mr. Graboff said he would not comment on any specific personnel matters.