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Universal Cable Productions Names Management Team

Universal Cable Productions has installed a five-person management team that is charged with identifying, developing and producing original content for cable, as well as ancillary media platforms.

The establishment of the group, which will be based in Los Angeles, was announced July 20 by Bonnie Hammer, president, NBC Universal Cable Entertainment and Universal Cable Productions. The move comes four months after the cable outfit was separated from Universal Media Studios.

Reporting directly to Hammer, the management team comprises Mark Stern, co-head, original content; Jeff Wachtel, co-head, original content; Javier Maynulet, CFO and operations head; Beth Roberts, head of business affairs; and Jerry DiCanio, head of production. Wachtel and Stern also serve as the executive vice president of original programming for USA Network and Sci Fi, respectively.

Universal Cable Productions' development priority will be for the NBCU Cable Entertainment division, but will also include development for other cable networks and media platforms.  

“We are working to create a new way of doing business that taps into the strengths of the great team we have already in place, and deals head-on with the challenges facing media companies today.  Universal Cable Productions will find content that not only works for our cable networks but -- equally important -- has a long tail of value for the entire company,” said Ms. Hammer in a statement. “This structure eliminates management layers, empowering the team to evaluate and manage each project based on its maximum creative and financial potential, across all possible platforms.”

Among the Universal Cable series currently in production: USA's Monk, Psych, In PlainSight, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and pilot Royal Pains; and Sci Fi’s Eureka and Warehouse 13. Additionally, the studio is working on the backdoor pilot to Caprica, the prequel to Battlestar Gallactica, which recently completed production on its final campaign.