5 OCT 2020

NBCUNIVERSAL NAMES SUSAN ROVNER AS CHAIRMAN OF ENTERTAINMENT

The Warner Bros. executive will have oversight of NBCU's scripted and unscripted content, late-night shows, and Peacock, along with a slate of cable channels.

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NBCUniversal announced its decision to appoint Susan Rovner as chairman of its entertainment programming division. Rovner is set to take on her role starting Monday. “Susan is the bold creative force we need as we rethink the future of our business,” Matt Lazarus, chairman of television and streaming said in a statement. “Throughout this process, I have been consistently impressed by her strong perspective, a track record of success and passion for content. Susan joins a great team that is poised to begin a new era at NBCU.” 

The long-time Warner Bros. executive will oversee all programming decisions at NBCU, including for scripted and unscripted content, late-night shows, and Peacock. She’ll also be in charge of NBC’s slate of cable channels, including Bravo, E!, USA and Syfy, as well as first-run syndicated programming including “The Kelly Clarkson Show.” ”

Rovner's hire forms part of CEO Jeff Shell's restrucutirng efforts. The TV aspects of the conglomerate were divided into three sections; Direct to Consumer, Entertainment Programming and Entertainment Business. Peacock chief Matt Strauss runs the direct to the consumer unit, while Frances Berwick heads up the Entertainment Business division, where she’ll work closely with Rovner. Both individuals will report to Lazarus.

Rovner left Warner Bros. TV last month after two decades, where she most recently served as co-president with Brett Paul. Rovner had been seen by many in Hollywood as a top contender to eventually take over for Peter Roth as chairman of Warner Bros. Television. During Rovner’s tenure, Warner produced hit series including “Riverdale,” “The Flash,” “Gotham,” “Westworld,” “Watchmen,” “You,” “Shrill” and “Ted Lasso.”

Shell majorly contributed to NBCU’s TV and streaming operations since taking over for Steve Burke in January. Telegdy had been accused of numerous instances of toxic behavior, along with unscripted chief Meredith Ahr. USA and Syfy Network head Chris McCumber has also exited as part of the reorganization. "NBCU has a deep-rooted tradition of having the best programming from visionary creators, and I feel so grateful for the opportunity to join this incredible organization as it builds on that legacy to head into the future," Rovner said.

Susan is the bold creative force we need as we rethink the future of our business. Throughout this process, I have been consistently impressed by her strong perspective, a track record of success and passion for content. Susan joins a great team that is poised to begin a new era at NBCU.” Matt Lazarus Chairman, Television and Streaming