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NBCU Television to Reorganize Under Lazarus

With about two months to go before the broad release of its Peacock streaming service, NBCUniversal has shaken up its television organizational structure, placing its cable, broadcast and streaming businesses under one roof headed by long-time executive Mark Lazarus.

Mark Lazarus

Mark Lazarus

According to NBCU, the new unit, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, will house NBC Entertainment, Spanish-language network Telemundo, its cable channels (USA Network, Bravo, SYFY, Oxygen, E! And Universal Kids), international networks and Peacock. Lazarus, who a little more than a year ago was named to head up NBCU’s broadcast, cable sports and news units, maintains responsibility for NBC Sports Group, its owned-and-operated TV stations and affiliate relations.

Jeff Shell

Jeff Shell

NBCU soft launched Peacock on April 15 to Comcast XFinity, Flex and Cox subscribers. Company executives said last week that debut has fared better than expected, but has not changed plans for a broader launch on July 15. 

“This is the right structure to lead NBCUniversal into the future during this transformational time in the industry,” said NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell in a press release. “Mark has a proven track record across every aspect of our television business from sports to local stations to entertainment. He is the ideal leader to oversee our television and streaming portfolio in this newly formed division, which allows us to have a more unified approach to our content strategy.”

The new structure means that NBC News chief Andrew Lack has decided to step down and will leave the company at the end of the month. Taking his place in the newly created role of chairman, NBCUniversal News Group (encompassing NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC) is former Telemundo chief Cesar Conde. A replacement for Conde at Telemundo will be named at a later date. Until that time, Telemundo’s leadership team will report directly to Lazarus.

Cesar Conde

Cesar Conde

“Cesar is a well-respected, strategic leader who has succeeded in multiple roles at NBCUniversal since joining the company in 2013,” Shell said in the press release. “Most recently, Cesar has overseen unprecedented growth at Telemundo, which under his leadership has become the number one Spanish-language network, and through its news division has played a critical role in the expansion of news operations, breaking news coverage and trailblazing political reporting. Cesar’s valuable and relevant experience leading broadcast networks and news divisions, combined with his high degree of integrity and proven management skills, make him the right person to lead our news group into the future.”

Both Lazarus and Conde report directly to Shell. NBC News president Noah Oppenheim; MSNBC president Phil Griffin; and CNBC chairman Mark Hoffman will now report to Conde. 

Rounding out the NBCUniversal senior management team, the following executives continue to report directly to Shell:

  • Matt Bond, Chairman, Content Distribution
  • Bonnie Hammer, Chairman of NBCUniversal Content Studios
  • Kim Harris, EVP and General Counsel
  • Kathy Kelly-Brown, SVP, Strategic Initiatives
  • Anand Kini, EVP and Chief Financial Officer

  • Donna Langley, Chairman, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group
  • Ron Meyer, Vice Chairman
  • Adam Miller, EVP
  • Craig Robinson, EVP and Chief Diversity Officer
  • Tom Williams, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Universal Parks & Resorts
  • Linda Yaccarino, Chairman of Advertising Sales & Client Partnerships

Under the new structure, the following executives will lead businesses reporting to Lazarus:

  • Frances Berwick, President, Lifestyle Networks
  • Ken Bettsteller, President, International Networks
  • Peter Bevacqua, President, NBC Sports Group
  • Philip Martzolf, President, NBCUniversal Affiliate Relations
  • Chris McCumber, President, Entertainment Networks
  • Valari Staab, President, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations
  • Matt Strauss, Chairman of Peacock
  • Paul Telegdy, Chairman, NBC Entertainment