NBCU Shuffles Corporate Reporting Structure

Dec 4, 2006  •  Post A Comment

After three top executives defected in two weeks, NBC Universal changed its management reporting structure, putting NBCU Universal TV Stations President Jay Ireland in charge of Telemundo and NBC network affiliations and operations.

Mr. Ireland’s new duties used to be under the purview of Randy Falco, the No. 2 NBCU executive who departed the company last month to become chairman and CEO of AOL. Mr. Ireland will report to NBCU Television Group CEO Jeff Zucker, the company said today in a statement.

“This is a testimony to the outstanding bench strength and depth of management talent within NBC Universal,” NBCU Chairman Bob. Wright wrote in an internal e-mail.

NBCU is trying to stage a comeback after a dearth of television hits shrank audiences and advertising revenue, costing its broadcast network and owned stations as much as $1 billion in ad sales and other income. The network is experiencing a ratings comeback as Mr. Zucker executes a plan to trim 700 jobs and $750 million in spending.

The Telemundo stations group that had reported to Mr. Ireland now will report to Telemundo President Don Browne.

West Coast NBCU Television President Marc Graboff will gain oversight of domestic TV distribution, which had reported to David Zaslav, who left his job as NBC Cable and Domestic TV president two weeks ago to become chairman and CEO of Discovery Communications. Other parts of Mr. Zaslav’s former duties have yet to be reassigned.

As reported Friday on TVWeek.com, Michael Pilot, former president and CEO of the Equipment Finance Group for NBCU parent company General Electric, has been named president of advertising sales, with some oversight of NBCU and Telemundo stations.

Mr. Pilot will share responsibilities for digital ad sales with Beth Comstock, president of digital media and market development. Mr. Pilot replaces Keith Turner, who last week left NBCU to pursue other opportunities.

Ed Swindler, who had been one of Mr. Turner’s key executives, is being promoted to the newly created position of executive VP and chief operating officer of the sales division. Mr. Swindler, whom many people in the industry had expected to leave NBCU, will report to Mr. Pilot and Executive VP and Chief Financial Officer Lynn Calpeter.

John Eck, president of NBCU Media Works and the company’s chief information officer, and business development executive VP Bruce Campbell, who previously reported to Falco, now will report to Mr. Wright.

In another shift, communications executive VP Cory Shields now will report to Mr. Wright rather than to Ms. Comstock.