31 MAR 2023

The CW appoints Betsy Slenzak to lead its Unscripted division

Set to report to NBCU alum Heather Olander, the executive will develop and lead production on alternative reality, events and specials in her new role as VP of unscripted.

31 MAR 2023

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The CW has hired former NBCUniversal exec Betsy Slenzak to work across its unscripted output.“Betsy is a talented executive with stellar relationships within the industry and a keen eye for developing successful unscripted formats,” NBCU alum Heather Olander said. “Betsy has a proven track record of producing buzzworthy hits, and we are fortunate to welcome her to The CW as we continue to evolve our unscripted programming slate.”

The move comes after Cyle Zezo, who served as  VP and Head of Alternative and Digital Programming, confirmed plans to exit the company following a nin-year tenure. Slenzak’s appointment also follows the network's efforts to ramp up its shift towards unscripted, following its acquisition by Nexstar Media Group in October. The firm alson finalized a deal to take 75% ownership of the US broadcast network, with CEO and chairman Mark Pedowitz exiting and Dennis Miller stepping into the role of president.

Under her new role, Slenzak will develop and lead production on alternative reality, events and specials in her new role as VP of unscripted. She reports into Olander, who was appoointed Head of unscripted at the Nexstar Media Group-owned US network in February.  

Slenzak previously worked as VP, Entertainment Unscripted Content, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, where she worked across reality competition, talent competition and game show formats for networks NBC, Bravo, E! and USA Network and streamer Peacock.Her slate included series including NBC’s American Ninja Warrior, Peacock’s Love Island, The Traitors and Frogger Before joining NBCU’s formats team, Slenzak was at Peacock where she oversaw series including John Wayne Gacy: Devil in Disguise, Wilmore and The Amber Ruffin Show. She also spent seven years at E! Entertainment, overseeing shows such as Botched, Chelsea Lately and Fashion Police. She started her career at Access Hollywood and was co-ordinator to Bonnie Hammer. “I’m thrilled to be joining Heather and the team at The CW, who are some of the smartest executives in the business,” added Slenzak. “I genuinely love what I do, so the opportunity to build something with Heather is a dream come true.”