After a long weekend of anticipation, starting with Nikki Finke's reports, the network has announced a change in top entertainment management. Putting on interesting shows, in the end, was not as valuable as improving the ratings. Full release after the jump ...
Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Ben Silverman, the prolific producer and program executive behind such television hits as “The Office,” “Ugly Betty,” and “The Biggest Loser,” as well as the man who brought “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” and “Big Brother” to the United States, is becoming a senior executive at NBC Universal. Silverman and veteran NBCU executive Marc Graboff have been appointed Co-Chairmen of NBC Entertainment and NBC Universal Television Studio.
The announcement was made today by Jeff Zucker, President and CEO, NBC Universal, to whom both Silverman and Graboff will report.
“We are extremely thrilled to have Ben on board. After years of working with him as an agent, a supplier to both our broadcast and cable networks, and as a producer, we’ve come to know him as one of the most savvy and successful executives in the industry,” said Zucker. “I always thought this was the right job for Ben. This new role will give him the opportunity to redefine our programming, our relationship with advertisers, and our ongoing commitment to the new digital frontier.”
Continued Zucker: “Marc is a proven and respected executive whose wealth of expertise in so many divisions will continue to be a huge plus in this realignment. He has superb business acumen and an instinctive grasp of our expanding company and its multiple platforms, and is positioning NBC for the future. Marc and Ben have a long and successful history of working together that gives us tremendous confidence in the strength of this new partnership.”
Kevin Reilly, who has served as President of NBC Entertainment for the past three years, and NBCU have mutually agreed to end their relationship. “Kevin has given us some incredibly important, high-quality new series in recent years, and his legacy will be evident for many years to come in NBC’s primetime schedule,” said Zucker. “I want to thank him for all of his efforts on behalf of the company.”
In their new roles, Silverman and Graboff will have responsibility for all aspects of the network’s primetime, late-night and daytime programming, and will also oversee the entertainment division’s digital efforts, including NBC.com, and all of the network and television studio’s creative, marketing, business, and financial components.
Said Graboff: “I am very excited about the opportunity to partner with someone like Ben. He’s a brilliant producer and a true out-of-the-box thinker who wants to change the business model of this industry. We complement each other very well and together will be a strong team to guide NBC through a period of enormous change and opportunity.”
Added Silverman: “I grew up watching NBC and have always loved this network. So this is a dream job for me. And what a thrill it is to be partnering with Marc. We have had great success across the table from each other and I can’t wait to be working side-by-side with him to help shape NBC’s future during this time of incredible excitement and unprecedented change.”
Graboff, who was named President, NBC Universal Television, West Coast, in February 2007, will also continue his leadership role in Domestic TV Distribution. Barry Wallach, President, Domestic TV Distribution, will continue to report to Graboff.
Silverman is the founder and CEO of Reveille, a leading independent production and distribution company. Earlier this year, Reveille entered into an expanded and creative arrangement with NBC Universal that gave both the broadcast network and the company’s cable properties a first look at all scripted and unscripted projects. With today’s announcement, that deal has been extended for two more years.