Susan Rovner Taps Lisa Katz to Head Scripted at NBCU Entertainment

Susan Rovner
Susan Rovner (Image credit: NBCU)

Susan Rovner, recently named chairman, entertainment content, at NBCU, has tapped Lisa Katz as president of scripted programming.

The move comes as Rovner begins to structure a leadership team for her division, which develops content for NBC, the company’s cable networks and its streaming service Peacock. 

It also followed the departure of Tracey Pakosta, who had been co-president of scripted programming for NBC, and is moving to Netflix as head of comedy, working for former Universal Television chief Bela Bajaria, now head of global TV at Netflix.

The organizational changes were outlined in a memo sent to staff by Rovner Tuesday.

Citing the nearly 200 unscripted projects NBCU has in the works, Rovner said she is splitting unscripted into two areas.

Rod Aissa was named executive VP, unscripted content, overseeing lifestyle and documentary style shows, and Jenny Groom was named executive VP, overseeing competition, talent competition and game show formats.

Rovner also said that Tracie Wilson, who launched The Kelly Clarkson Show and rebranded Access Hollywood, will be executive VP, syndication studios. Katie Hockmeyer will continue to oversee late night programming as executive late night and Jen Neal, who has headed the live events and news divisions at E!, will become executive VP, live events, specials and E! News, across entertainment TV and streaming.

Rovner emphasized that her group will be creating content for all of the company’s TV and streaming platforms.

"I accepted this role because Jeff Shell’s and Mark Lazarus’ vision for this new organization was so compelling that it became undeniable," she said. "Spending these past few weeks with the people charged with executing that vision – not only Jeff and Mark, but also Frances [Berwick, running the networks], Matt [Strauss, in charge of Peacock] and their leadership teams – has given me great confidence that together we’re going to be able to fulfill on that promise of building an unrivaled home for both storytellers and audiences alike."

Katz had been co-president of scripted programming for NBC, developing shows including This Is Us, Good Girls and Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.

Aissa had been in charge of E! and Oxygen production of shows including Keeping Up with the Kardashians and The Bradshaw Bunch.

Groom oversaw NBC unscripted shows including The Voice, America’s Got Talent, Ellen’s Game of Games and American Ninja Warrior.

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.