By Joe Flint 

This article is being republished as part of our daily reproduction of WSJ.com articles that also appeared in the U.S. print edition of The Wall Street Journal (August 7, 2020).

NBCUniversal has reorganized its entertainment unit and shuffled its executive ranks as part of a consolidation effort aimed at better positioning the company for the streaming era.

In the new structure, Comcast Corp.'s NBCUniversal is breaking its entertainment operations into separate business and creative units. Those units will be in charge of content creation and distribution for NBCUniversal's various broadcast, cable and streaming platforms.

The restructuring has been in the works for several months under new NBCUniversal Chief Executive Jeff Shell, who is attempting to break down the fiefdoms at NBC's various programming platforms, including the NBC broadcast network and cable channels USA, Bravo and E!, which all have their own distinct programming and business operations.

NBCUniversal has filled most of the new positions in the reorganization with current senior executives. However the head of content for all its programming platforms hasn't been named yet. The company is looking at internal and external candidates for what will essentially be the role of chief content officer.

As a result of the new organizational structure, NBC broadcast network entertainment chief Paul Telegdy is leaving the company. Mr. Telegdy had been operating under a cloud for the last week as NBCU launched an investigation into the culture of his unit after a story in the Hollywood Reporter alleged a toxic and misogynistic environment in the unit.

Mr. Telegdy declined to comment on his departure.

Moving up in the redesign of the operation is Frances Berwick, who currently oversees the Bravo, E! and Oxygen cable networks. In her new role, she will head the business operations and deal-making for content across all the company's entertainment operations.

The direct-to-consumer operations of NBCUniversal, which include its new Peacock streaming service, will continue to be overseen by Matt Strauss. While Peacock will maintain much of its own business operations, content acquisition and creation will be part of the new entertainment operations under Ms. Berwick and the soon-to-be-named content chief.

Both Mr. Strauss and Ms. Berwick will report to Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBCUniversal Television and Streaming.

"With the power of NBC and the broadcast model, coupled with the strong cable entertainment brands and the new addition of Peacock, we have massive scale and a deep library of valuable content that can live across platforms," Mr. Lazarus said in a statement.

The future of Mr. Telegdy at the company had been up in the air prior to NBCU's investigation into his unit, people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Shell's desire to appoint a new chief of content over all the NBCUniversal programming operations would have undercut his role and autonomy at the NBC network.

Mr. Telegdy has been subject of accusations by Gabrielle Union, a former co-host of the network's "America's Got Talent" show. Ms. Union alleged in a complaint filed in June with California's Department of Fair Employment and Housing that he threatened her job after she had expressed concerns about racism behind the scenes of the hit show. NBC denied the claims.

The probe into the NBC entertainment unit will continue after Mr. Telegdy's exit, a person familiar with the matter said.

Mr. Telegdy rose up the ranks of NBC after establishing a successful track record developing unscripted shows. Programs he helped develop include "The Voice," "Little Big Shots" and "American Ninja Warrior."

NBCUniversal's entertainment operations aren't the only units undergoing change. Earlier this year, Mr. Shell consolidated NBC's news operations under executive Cesar Conde.

The reorganization, as well as the effect of the coronavirus on the company's advertising and theme park, has led to dramatic cuts throughout the company that began earlier this week.

Write to Joe Flint at joe.flint@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 07, 2020 02:47 ET (06:47 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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