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Fox Grabs Top NBC Researcher

Fox has snatched one of the Peacock's top research executives as it remakes itself into a year-round programmer.

Melva Benoit, former senior vice president of program research at NBC, is taking over Fox's research department. Benoit replaces Giles Lundberg, a 16-year veteran of Fox, who has resigned.

Benoit will oversee all day-to-day research and research-related marketing efforts for the network, reporting to Preston Beckman, executive vice president of strategic program planning.Lundberg had reported directly to Gail Berman, president of Fox Entertainment.

"Melva has demonstrated an impressive track record as a research analyst for many years," said Beckman. "Her innovative techniques for information-gathering and audience research in both the network and cable arenas will prove invaluable as the network moves aggressively forward with our year-round, original programming initiatives."

Benoit, who worked in the research departments of Cartoon Network, The Disney Channel and Nickelodeon prior to NBC, will be Fox Broadcasting Co.'s highest-ranking African-American executive.

Replacing Benoit at NBC is Sumithra Barry, who has been named senior vice president of NBC West Coast program research.

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.