High-Ranking NBCU Exec Headed Out the Door THR
A top executive at NBCUniversal who has been with the company for more than a decade is headed out. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Executive VP Lauren Zalaznick will leave the company, with newly hired Cesar Conde, the former president of Univision Networks, on tap to take over many of Zalaznick's responsibilities.
Zalaznick will stay on during the transition, the report notes.
"The 12-year company veteran was a top cable operator at NBCU, overseeing a female-friendly portfolio of networks including Bravo, Oxygen and now-defunct Style until February of this year. At that time, her channels were absorbed by fellow cable exec Bonnie Hammer, and Zalaznick was moved into more of a strategic role. With NBCU executive VP as her title, she was charged with accelerating growth for the company portfolio by identifying and executing on new business opportunities," THR reports.
NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke announced the move today in an internal memo, saying: “Those of you who know Lauren well know she is one of those rare executives that combines great creative instincts with a true business orientation."
THR adds: "According to sources close to Zalaznick, who has been described as both a powerful tastemaker and a quirky intellect, she likely will return to an operator role of some sort. It's not clear exactly what that next step will entail, though she has been quietly dabbling in the startup space, where she is either advising or investing in a handful of companies."
Conde joined the company earlier this month, as previously reported, as an executive VP reporting to Burke. While he will take over much of Zalaznick's workload, one exception is Fandango, which THR notes will now be the responsibility of a film group under the watch of Jeff Shell, who was recently promoted.
After the transition, Zalaznick "will remain affiliated with the company as a consultant on digital media content and technology marketplace trends for a period of time," the THR report notes.
The story adds: "In making his early 2013 announcement, which made Zalaznick more of a behind-the-scenes suit than the high-profile programmer she had been, Burke touted her as an exec who 'loves ideas and new ways of doing things. She also is innovative, energetic and focused on growth.' Over the past six months, her gig has entailed such things as establishing the company’s first data science team and forming the NBCU Digital Council to focus on the impact of emerging global trends."
Zalaznick has been with the company since 2004.