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NBC Restructures Alternative Department, Taps Groom to Oversee It

NBC has restructured its alternative department with the promotions of Jenny Groom, who will remain senior VP, alternative programming and development but now oversees the department; Lesley Cerwin to senior VP, current programming; and Shelby Shaftel to VP, alternative programming and development.

“Jenny Groom has emerged as the natural leader for the NBC alternative programming team,” said Paul Telegdy, president, alternative and reality group, NBC Entertainment. “Her creativity and understanding of NBC’s audience have been honed over a 14-year career, starting as a page and have included time spent with NBC’s drama department and Universal Television. She has been a huge part of the success we have enjoyed at NBC, having headed up development for nearly five years and now adds the management of the wider department to her duties.”

Telegdy noted Cerwin’s eight years leading the alternative communications team, and how she’s been a “trusted and integral part of our success on both the network side and in launching our new studio. Lesley, who combines her vast experience and passion for alternative programming with strategic expertise, will take responsibility for maximizing the franchise value of our current portfolio.”

Telegdy singled out Shaftel’s work on The Voice. “We look forward to Shelby applying the best practices of that massive hit to our wider development and portfolio,” he said. 

Groom takes over network responsibilities for all current programming and development, reporting to Telegdy. She will have oversight of the existing alternative slate, including The Voice, America’s Got Talent and American Ninja Warrior.

Groom previously oversaw development for the network. 

Cerwin will have oversight of all current alternative programming and will be responsible for maximizing the current programming slate from not only a creative perspective but also through marketing, sales, digital, social and publicity.

A 12-year NBC veteran, Cerwin previously handled press for Telegdy and Meredith Ahr, president of Universal Television Alternative Studio. She also oversaw all alternative programming press campaigns.

Shaftel will take on more development and continue to have oversight of The Voice. In addition, she is currently overseeing the upcoming Ellen DeGeneres-produced dating show First Dates and the return of The Wall and Better Late Than Never.

Both Shaftel and Cerwin will report to Groom.