Ed Swindler Leaving NBCU Domestic TV Distribution

Ed Swindler is leaving his post as president of NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution, effective at the end of the year.

In a note to staffers, Swindler cited a recent reorganization at NBCU when broadcast chairman Ted Harbert left in September.

Swindler was named to head the syndication unit in 2013. He had been with NBC since 1984, holding a variety of ad sales and financial positions, including president of strategy and operations, NBC Broadcasting.

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No successor will be named for Swindler. When Harbert left, the syndication business was assigned to the president of the alternative and reality group at NBC Entertainment, Paul Telegdy, and George Cheeks, president of business operations and late night programming.

The reorganization moved the syndication unit from broadcast operations to the entertainment arm of the company.

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NBCU this year produced Harry, starring Harry Connick Jr., which went to the Fox Owned Stations after NBC’s own station groups opted instead to go with 4 p.m. news in several top markets. So far, Harry is questionable to return for a second year, and Fox stations in four markets moved the show from 4 p.m. to 2 p.m. to try to give it a better chance to stand out among weaker time-period competition. Harbert was a big booster of the show.

NBCU also co-produces and distributes The Steve Harvey Show, starring Steve Harvey. Harvey had wanted to move the show to Los Angeles and turn its focus towards celebrities, but both NBCU and Endemol Shine, the co-producers, resisted because the move is expensive. Harvey and his team recruited WME-IMG, headed by Mark Shapiro, to produce a new show. NBCU will still distribute that show and the new iteration will continue to air on NBC owned stations.

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In a note to staff sent late Wednesday, Swindler said “with the recent divisional reorganization, and after 40 years in media, I’ve decided to step back, recharge, spend time with the family and then maybe eventually get a real job. Through three parent companies and four CEO’s I’ve been blessed to work with the most interesting people in television.”

And he thanked what he called “the best staff in television,” as well as NBCU CEO Steve Burke.

Paige Albiniak contributed to this report.

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.