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NBC Ups Comstock, Gaspin, Graboff

Feb 15, 2007  •  Post A Comment

A long-awaited NBC Universal senior executive shuffle expands the roles of three people.

Beth Comstock becomes president of NBC Universal Integrated Media, a new title. Jeff Gaspin becomes president of NBC Universal Cable and Digital Content. Marc Graboff resurrects old concept as NBC Universal Television West Coast president.

“With my new responsibilities, I am making some organizational adjustments,” NBCU President and CEO Jeff Zucker said in the announcement Thursday. “I have worked with each of [the newly titled executives] for a long time and have complete confidence in their ability to lead these new divisions. The goal is to have an organization that is simple, understandable and can move quickly in this new and complicated world.”

Ms. Comstock was president of digital media and market development since late 2005. She adds oversight of television ad sales and NBCU ad sales President Michael Pilot, who adds marketing to his portfolio. Ms. Comstock was to oversee sales starting in 2005, when she returned to the network from parent company General Electric, but a small cluster of network executives opposed and derailed the plan.

Thinking is that aligning ad sales with marketing, research and digital media better positions NBCU to meet multiplatform marketing needs of clients. Continuing to report to Ms. Comstock: iVillage Properties Deborah Fine, Chief Digital Officer George Kliavkoff, and Research President Alan Wurtzel. Barbara Blangiardi takes new title of senior VP of Strategic Marketing and Content Innovation and reports to Mr. Pilot.

Mr. Gaspin served as president of cable entertainment, digital content and cross-network strategy. The newly created division reporting to him handles cable content and distribution to cable, satellite and telco operators. Television Networks Distribution Bridget Baker reports to Mr. Gaspin. Digital Distribution President Jean-Briac Perrette has a dual report, to Mr. Kliavkoff as well as to Mr. Gaspin. Continuing to report to Gaspin: Bonnie Hammer, president of USA Network and SCI FI Channel; Lauren Zalaznick, president of Bravo; and Dan Harrison, senior VP of Emerging Networks (Universal HD, Sleuth, Chiller, NBCU 2 GO).

Mr. Gaspin also continues to oversee NBCU’s entertainment programming on all of its digital outlets. Vivi Zigler, executive VP of NBC Digital Entertainment and New Media for NBC Entertainment, continue to report to him.

Mr. Graboff adds three new areas of executive responsibility, in a West Coast structure used during the Don Ohlmeyer-Warren Littlefield and Scott Sassa-Jeff Zucker days in the 1990s and early 2000s. Mr. Graboff’s direct reports are West Coast-based executives NBC Entertainment President Kevin, NBC Universal Television Studio President Angela Bromstad, and John Miller, president of the NBC Agency and chief marketing officer of NBC Universal Television. As previously announced, Barry Wallach, president of domestic TV Distribution, reports to Graboff. Mr. Graboff also continues to be responsible for the company’s business affairs unit.

(Editor: Romanelli)