NBCU Promotes Igbokwe to Head Television Studios

Pearlena Igbokwe (Image credit: Chris Haston/NBC)

NBCUniversal, continuing to make organizational changes under new CEO Jeff Shell, said it promoted Pearlena Igbokwe as chairman of its Universal Studio Group, heading its TV production business.

Igbokwe, who had been president of Universal Television, one of NBCU TV studios, succeeds Bonnie Hammer. Hammer, an NBCU veteran becomes vice chairman. 

Both women report directly to Shell.

Since succeeding Steve Burke  earlier this year Burke put NBCU’s TV and streaming businesses under Mark Lazarus. Its head of entertainment, Paul Telegdy left last month amid complaints he created a hostile work environment.

There have also been reports that Susan Rovner, who is leaving her post as president of Warner Bros. Television, will join NBCU in a new job overseeing programming for NBC’s networks and Peacock reporting to Lazarus. NBCU declined to comment on those reports.

“This is an exciting time for our business, with demand for entertainment content at an all-time high and more distribution platforms available than ever before. Our television studios are key growth engines for the company, and Pearlena is ideally suited to lead them. She has extraordinary taste and is well-respected within NBCU, and throughout the global creative community,” said Shell.

Dawn Olmstead, president of UCP, and Jeff Wachtel, President of NBCUniversal International Studios, will now report directly to Igbokwe.

Some of the programs under Igbokwe’s purview include the critically comedies Russian Doll, The Good Place, Superstore, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Little America, dramas Good Girls and New Amsterdam, and Dick Wolf’s new FBI and FBI: Most Wanted.

Before joining NBCU, Igbokwe worked at Showtime for 20 years.

Shell said Hammer would serve as an adviser to him.

“Her deep industry experience, impeccable creative instincts and 25-plus years of prosocial advocacy will be immensely valuable to me and our company,” Shell said.

“Over the course of my career at NBCUniversal, I have been fortunate to touch every aspect of the television business and I am ready to take on this new corporate role. It is the perfect next chapter and I am delighted to pass the baton to Pearlena,” said Hammer. “She has a long track record of success and is the ideal person to take the helm of the studio group.”  

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.