Comcast may be under pressure to split up its cable and media businesses and one analyst says that such a move could unlock value for both assets. Trian Fund Management has taken a stake in Comcast and begun conversations with executives under the assumption that the company’s stock is undervalued.
NBCUniversal has promoted Janine Jones-Clark to executive vice president, inclusion – talent and content, NBCUniversal Film, Television and Streaming, the company announced on Tuesday. Jones-Clark will retain oversight of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group’s diversity, inclusion and equity strategies, and will add NBCUniversal’s entertainment, streaming and television studio teams to her purview.
With channels like E!, Oxygen and Syfy on borrowed time, the media company pushes deep cuts and centralizes program decisions.
NBCUniversal is quietly looking to replace top reality TV executive Meredith Ahr who was accused of cultivating a toxic workplace in a bombshell report in late July.
Comcast’s NBCUniversal unit said it is introducing a new measurement system that tells marketers how effective their ad spending has been across campaigns, screens and platforms. Honda is engaged in a beta test of NBCU’s Total Investment Impact, which evaluates total media investment across NBCU properties and takes into account relevant internal and external factors that can impact the performance of media.
Universal Television chief Pearlena Igbokwe (l) has been elevated to head of TV content for NBCUniversal as part of the broader shakeup of NBCU’s senior executive ranks. Bonnie Hammer (r), the NBCU veteran who had been overseeing all TV production, segues into the NBCU vice chairman role that was hastily vacated last month by Ron Meyer.
Following a lengthy public search, Warner Bros. TV President Susan Rovner has been tapped to oversee a programming portfolio that includes broadcast network NBC, streamer Peacock, as well as basic cable networks USA, Syfy, Bravo, Oxygen and E!.
In yet another marriage of sports media with the rising tide of legalized sports betting in the U.S, NBCUniversal and PointsBet announced a multi-year partnership by which PointsBet becomes the official sports betting partner of NBC Sports. As part of the agreement, NBC Sports will provide PointsBet with year-round, multi-platform media and marketing opportunities across its portfolio of events. The company’s sports programming includes NBC Olympics, the Golf Channel, NBC Sports Regional Networks, and the Olympic Channel.
NBCUniversal has added a free sports channel to its new Peacock streamer. Called NBC Sports on Peacock, the channel will offer sports talk shows and live sports event coverage. Shows will be available on demand in addition to streaming live.
Ron Meyer, NBCUniversal’s vice chairman, is out after 25 years. “I am writing to share some unfortunate news. Late last week Ron Meyer informed NBCUniversal that he had acted in a manner which we believe is not consistent with our company policies or values,” NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said in a statement Tuesday. “Based on Ron’s disclosure of these actions, we have mutually concluded that Ron should leave the company, effective immediately. We thank Ron for his 25 years of service, and for his significant contributions to NBCUniversal.”
When NBCUniversal pulled the trigger on a massive reorganization of its television business last week, the company made clear that one key position in the new structure had yet to be filled — a new head of entertainment programming who would oversee creative decisions for NBC, cable channels including USA and Bravo, and fledgling streaming service Peacock. A version of that role had, as Variety reported prior to the reorg, been offered to Netflix local-language originals chief Bela Bajaria, who turned it down.
The reorganization of NBCUniversal’s television business Thursday was prefaced by a windup that company insiders characterized as tortuous and demoralizing. When the moment finally came, it provided only some clarity as to whom the internal winners and losers would be in a restructuring that is expected to be broad in scope. But it did demonstrate that NBCUniversal, like its peers, is having to discard old ideas about troop placement in the age of the streaming wars.
Paul Telegdy has parted ways with NBC Entertainment, following allegations of racist, sexist and homophobic behavior, as parent company NBCUniversal engineers a sprawling corporate overhaul meant to streamline its network and direct-to-consumer businesses. Most recently head of NBCUniversal’s lifestyle networks, Frances Berwick will now lead its television entertainment business, overseeing daily operations across all networks and dayparts, commissioning and acquiring programming that will work across platforms, and implement “creative windowing and scheduling strategies” across both broadcast network NBC and NBCU’s cable networks.
The executive will remain chairman of NBCUniversal through the end of the year, before becoming a senior adviser to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts.
NBCUniversal has begun making staff cuts across its entertainment portfolio including its sports and cable channels, broadcast networks, movie studio and theme parks, according to people familiar with the matter. The layoffs have been anticipated for several months and are primarily tied to the effect the coronavirus has had on many of the Comcast Corp. unit’s operations.
“While the advertising market was hit hard, it is coming back more rapidly than we anticipated and the upfront is now in full-swing,” said Jeff Shell, CEO, NBCUniversal, in Comcast’s second quarter conference call today with Wall Street analysts.
The axe is about to fall at media giant NBCUniversal to offset losses brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, the New York Post reports. The scale of the layoffs could not yet be determined, but insiders described the job cuts as “sweeping”and “significant.”
Harry Jessell: Affiliates with whom I spoke were clearly ticked off by last week’s show, with many preempting it. “Bone-headed,” said one. Compounding the insult of being asked to air an infomercial for a host of competitors was their feeling that that they had paid through their reverse comp for actual entertainment programming on Thursday night.
Unable to put on its upfront pitch at Radio City in May, NBCUniversal put its star-studded upfront message on television. But first, NBCUniversal previewed its primetime upfront pitch reuniting the cast of 30 Rock for a one-hour special episode as the finale of a Creative Summit for ad clients and media buyers Thursday afternoon. The summit talked about the importance of creativity in solving business problems and the ways NBCU can work with marketers.
NBCUniversal is creating 11 new advertising formats for TV marketers to consider for their advertising efforts. Under its Content and Commercial Innovations effort, these formats are intended to offer better reach and engagement for marketers.
The first phases of dynamic, addressable advertising trials include participation from Fox, ViacomCBS, NBCUniversal, Scripps, AMC Networks, Disney Media Networks, Discovery, Hearst Television and WarnerMedia.
KC Sullivan is tapped to head the new global division. Andrew Mortimer will oversee the global partnerships team, while Max Raven will lead the global news advertising team.
Thanks to a multibillion-dollar defamation lawsuit filed Monday from a direct-to-consumer teeth-straightening company, Cesar Conde won’t be getting much of a honeymoon as the newly installed chief of the newly formed NBCUniversal News Group. “SmileDirectClub gave NBC every opportunity to retract this defamatory report and correct the record voluntarily,” said the action against NBCUniversal Media and reporter Vicky Nguyen that hit the docket in the Tennessee courts from the teledentistry organization over a critical February report from NBC News. “NBC chose not to so,” says the $2.85 billion-seeking suit
NBCUniversal unveiled plans for a new advertising venture with its Comcast sibling Sky, a “creativity summit” over the summer and other initiatives during a “state of the marketplace conversation” on Monday. The online event was held on the day the company had planned to host its annual upfront presentation at Radio City Music Hall.
Just a day after Comcast’s NBCUniversal announced a reorganization of its executive ranks, the conglomerate said that senior leaders who comprise the executive committee, reporting directly to CEO Jeff Shell, will be reducing their salaries by 20% amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
NBCUniversal announced a new organizational structure for the company. The new structure, effective immediately, closely aligns NBCUniversal’s television networks as well as the new streaming service, Peacock, under one division led by Mark Lazarus, chairman, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. Also, NBC News Group President Andy Lack has decided to step down at the end of June.
Coronavirus-necessitated remote workflows have spun up quickly and reliably to allow TV stations to keep broadcasting during the pandemic. There’s reason to believe they’ll stick around after the crisis subsides. Above: Avid Edit On Demand provides a full virtual production environment in the cloud, including Media Composer software and Avid NEXIS storage. (Source: Avid)
Adjusting along with the rest of the industry to COVID-19, NBCUniversal has scheduled a virtual event for advertisers on May 11, the same date it had previously planned for its annual upfront. Dubbed a “One Industry Update,” the refashioned event will be a videoconference featuring executive comments as well as a “state of the marketplace conversation” with a Q&A period. The company officially canceled its upfront in mid-March, as TV networks regrouped as soon as it became clear that the pandemic had arrived.
NBCUniversal’s Steve Burke got 2019 compensation worth $42.6 million in 2019, his final year as CEO, compared with nearly $40.0 million in 2018 and $46.5 million in 2017, according to a regulatory filing from pay TV, media and technology giant Comcast. That marked a gain of 6.5%.
Vudu, the digital movie and TV rental unit of Walmart, is being acquired by NBCUniversal’s Fandango division. The news was confirmed in a blog post on Vudu’s website. Comcast and NBCU had been reported to be in talks earlier this year to acquire Vudu, a deal that gives the company another streaming outlet as it integrates Xumo and also rolls out Peacock, which just went live for Comcast subscribers.
NBCUniversal makes its streaming debut with the early preview of Peacock that will be exclusive to Comcast subscribers starting Wednesday, ahead of the July nationwide rollout. But with so many people forced to stay at home due to the coronavirus pandemic, Peacock executives suggested the service could come early.
NBCUniversal said Monday that Capital One, L’Oreal, Molson Coors, Subaru and Verizon have signed up as launch sponsors for the new streaming service Peacock when it debuts this week. Peacock hits nationwide on Wednesday, April 15, free for customers of parent company Comcast, and three months later for everyone else with a price range from free to $10 a month.
As marketers across sectors have asked to pause their advertising plans or shift messaging, NBCUniversal said that starting today it will have less commercial time and more uninterrupted content, according the Linda Yaccarino, the company’s chairman, advertising and partnerships. It’s a nod to the turmoil the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked on the advertising sector despite a surge in TV viewing.
The series of spots will feature Kelly Clarkson, Andy Cohen, Savannah Guthrie, Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen and many more, in partnership with the Ad Council, CDC, HHS and the White House.