NBCUniversal has restructured its cable portfolio, expanding the purview of Frances Berwick as the overseer of the newly formed lifestyle network group.
In her new position as president of the group, Berwick will add strategic oversight of E! Entertainment and Esquire Network to her current duties at Bravo and Oxygen Media. She will continue to report to NBCU Cable Entertainment chairman Bonnie Hammer, who announced the reorganization that more closely aligns the lifestyle services with the way they are positioned in the marketplace.
As part of the changes, Suzanne Kolb is exiting her position as president of E!, ending a nine-year run with the entertainment service, including the last three at its helm. Adam Stotsky, president of Esquire Network, which was converted from Style in September 2013, also has been named general manager of E! and will report directly to Berwick in both capacities.
Berwick was appointed president of Bravo and Oxygen Media in September 2013 spearheading strategy and operations for both brands. She was named president of Bravo, which she joined in 1996, in 2010. Under her tutelage, it has become a top 10 cable network with over 550 hours of year-round original programming that reaches one of the most affluent audiences in television.
Over the years, she has overseen breakout original programming, including the popular “Real Housewives” franchise, Watch What Happens Live! and Emmy winners Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and Top Chef. Most recently, Berwick has the network poised to enter the scripted realm, with its first entry Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce slated to debut in December, to be followed by the half-hour scripted comedy Odd Mom Out next year.
In 2013, Berwick's role was expanded to include Oxygen Media where she is currently overseeing the network's rebrand, targeting young, multicultural women and scheduled to launch across all platforms on Oct. 7.
“In a crowded, constantly evolving media landscape, it’s more important than ever to have a business structure that not only delivers results today, but also sets a course with the right leadership for future success,” said Hammer. “Frances is that rare individual whose creative instincts are as finely tuned as her business savvy. Her impressive track record is all about identifying compelling, innovative content. It’s part of her DNA, and it will be an invaluable asset in this new role and in maximizing E!’s tremendous brand potential.”
At E!, Berwick will be directly responsible for original programming and development aimed at buttressing viewership, strengthening the channel’s competitive positioning and extending its worldwide reputation as the multiplatform destination for all things entertainment.
“I’ve been a huge longtime fan of E! from afar, so I’m really excited to now be part of the team,” said Berwick. “I have enormous respect for the brand leadership position they've built in entertainment news and celebrity culture.”
In his new role as general manager at E!, Stotsky gains oversight of daily operations, notably news, digital, marketing, communications, research and acquisitions. He will continue his duties as president, Esquire Network, with direct oversight of all areas of the network.
“As a colleague of Adam’s for years, I’ve been impressed by his leadership skills and his ability to envision and define brands, from Syfy to NBC to Esquire,” said Berwick. "The distinctive brand and impressive slate that he and his team at Esquire Network have built in a short period of time is remarkable. I look forward to working even closer together as we take E! to new heights."
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