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NBCU streamlines TV operations, changing Peacock leadership

By Andrew Blustein, Reporter

October 7, 2019 | 3 min read

NBC Universal (NBCU) has consolidated its television studios, Universal Television and Universal Content Productions, into a single business unit ahead of the April launch of its streaming service, Peacock.

NBCU's Peacock will leverage Comcast's Xfinity distribution network

NBCU's Peacock will leverage Comcast's Xfinity distribution network

Bonnie Hammer, who was previously tasked with leading Peacock, will now oversee the combined TV group as chairman of NBCU Content Studios. She will report directly into Steve Burke, NBCU chief executive officer.

Matt Strauss will move into Hammer’s former role as chairman of Peacock. He last served as executive vice-president of Xfinity Services for Comcast Cable, where he oversaw its video, internet, home and voice businesses. Comcast owns NBCU.

NBCU said the reorganization is meant to meet a growing demand for more content.

“Bonnie’s great taste, deep Hollywood relationships, and strong track record of generating popular and award-winning programming make her ideally suited to oversee this new division,” said Burke. “With our studios being a main pipeline for Peacock’s original content, she will continue to be integral to the future success of our streaming business.”

Strauss helped build out Xfinity Flex, Comcast’s streaming set-top box that houses the likes of Hulu, Netflix, HBO and Peacock when it launches. The company recently made Xfinity Flex free for internet customers as Comcast looks to drive its broadband business and better compete with other streaming distributors such as Roku and Amazon.

“I worked with Matt for many years at Comcast Cable,” said Burke, “and know firsthand that he is one of the most talented leaders in our company. He has great experience with video, digital technology, and streaming and is the right person for the role at this juncture.”

NBCU has also named George Cheeks vice-chairman of NBCU Content Studios. Formerly vice-chairman of NBCU Content Studios and formerly co-chairman of NBC Entertainment, Cheeks will still oversee late-night programming for NBC, and he will report to Hammer.

Paul Telegdy will now become sole chairman of NBC Entertainment. Mark Lazarus will continue as chairman of NBCU Broadcast, Cable, Sports and News.

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