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Executives Shift Responsibilities in NBCU Reorganization

Wachtel, McCumber, Berwick Gain Different Roles, as Programmer Also Changes Game Plan for Esquire Network 9/09/2013 3:16 PM Eastern

In a reorganization in NBCUniversal's executive suite, Jeff Wachtel, Frances Berwick and Chris McCumber have new roles, while Jason Klarman is out as Oxygen president. The personnel changes came on the same day that the programmer unveiled that Style, not G4, will be rebranded into Equire Network, which is slated to launch later this month.

NBCUniversal Cable Group Entertainment chairman Bonnie Hammer outlined the changes in an internal memo Monday.  Under the management restructuring, Jeff Wachtel, who had been co-president of USA Network, will assume the new role of president and chief content officer, NBCU Cable Entertainment, where he will work with the presidents and development teams at each network.

Wachtel will also take oversight of Universal Cable Productions and Wilshire Studios, working with Steve Dolmaschio, who will become COO of both of those units. Chris McCumber will become sole president of top-rated cable network USA, after sharing the leadership role with Wachtel since 2011.
 
“Jeff's development track record at USA is the envy of the TV business, so it makes sense to maximize his original programming expertise and business savvy by extending his purview across the entire portfolio,” Hammer said in the memo.

For her part, Bravo Media president Frances Berwick is adding oversight of Oxygen, where she will replace Jason Klarman who will leave the company after serving as its president since 2010, an NBCU spokesperson confirmed. Berwick, though, will relinquish her oversight role as president of Style Media.

Hammer said Monday that Style will rebrand as Esquire Network on Sept. 23, in lieu of G4. Style president Salaam Coleman Smith will assist with the transition while the company looks for another placement for her, with Hammer saying the executive “will play an integral role… at NBCUniversal in the future.”
 
Esquire Network is scheduled to bow on Sept. 23.

 

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