USA Network Elevates Wachtel, McCumber To Co-Presidents

Bonnie Hammer, who was named to oversee NBC Universal's biggest cable channel by new owner Comcast, has put two of her senior lieutenants in charge of top-rated USA Network.

Jeff Wachtel, USA's top programmer, and chief marketer Chris McCumber were named co-presidents of the "characters" network.

"Not only have Chris and Jeff performed consistently at the top of their games, their collaborative style is a critical part of USA's DNA and a key component of the network's success," said Hammer, chairman of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment and Cable Studios. "USA will remain a top priority for me, and I can't think of a better team to build on the network's incredible momentum."

Wachtel and McCumber will jointly oversee strategic direction and operations across all platforms for USA, the network said. Both report directly to Hammer.

The executive moves were the first made by Hammer since Comcast took over in January. At that time she added responsibility for E! Entertainment and is the process of finding a successor to E! CEO Ted Harbert, who is now chairman of NBC Broadcasting.

As president for original programming, Wachtel has overseen the development of top-rated scripted series, including Burn Notice, White Collar, Covert Affairs, Royal Pains, In Plain Sight, Fairly Legal, Psych and Monk since 2001.

McCumber joined USA in 2004 and created the Characters Welcome brand identity for USA. He's also in charge of new business development and all WWE programming on NBCU's cable networks.

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.