NBCUniversal’s TV Studios Reorganized Under WWE Ally Bonnie Hammer

Oct 8, 2019 - by James Walsh

A longtime ally of WWE’s within NBC Universal has just been put in charge of the media company’s full television division. NBC Universal announced on Monday that their TV and digital content devisions will be brought under one house, overseen by Bonnie Hammer. As PWInsider notes, Hammer has been WWE’s strongest ally within NBCUniversal for years. 

The move comes as NBC prepares for the 2020 launch of Peacock, their streaming service. You can read the full announcement below: 


NBCUniversal announced today that its television studios, Universal Television and Universal Content Productions, will move under a single business unit, with Bonnie Hammer at the helm. Hammer will assume the new title of Chairman, NBCUniversal Content Studios. She will report directly to Steve Burke, CEO of NBCUniversal. Matt Strauss will join NBCUniversal from Comcast as Chairman of Peacock, the company’s streaming platform which launches in 2020. Strauss will also add the Digital Enterprises group to his purview, and report to Burke. The changes are effective immediately. 

The move to more closely align the company’s studio businesses addresses the growing demand for more content, both within and outside NBCUniversal, by creating a unified organization to work even more effectively with the creative community. 

“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. 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,” said Burke. 

He added, “I worked with Matt for many years at Comcast Cable, 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.” 

The company also announced that George Cheeks, Co-Chairman of NBC Entertainment, will become Vice Chairman of NBCUniversal Content Studios, reporting to Hammer. He will also continue to oversee late-night programming for NBC. Pearlena Igbokwe and Dawn Olmstead will continue in their roles as head of Universal Television and Universal Content Productions respectively, jointly reporting to Hammer and Cheeks. 

Paul Telegdy will become the sole Chairman of NBC Entertainment, reporting to Jeff Shell, Chairman of NBCUniversal Film and Entertainment. Telegdy will also continue to oversee syndication and Universal Television Alternative Studio. 

Mark Lazarus continues as Chairman of NBCUniversal Broadcast, Cable, Sports and News, overseeing the cable entertainment networks, NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC, NBC Sports, the owned-and-operated local stations, and affiliate relations. 

Prior to joining Peacock, Hammer had executive oversight of the cable entertainment portfolio, including USA Network, SYFY, Bravo, E! Entertainment, Universal Kids, and the cable studios. Under her leadership, the cable networks and studios churned out numerous award-winning hit TV series including recent shows Mr. Robot, Suits, The Sinner, and Umbrella Academy and Dirty John. 

Strauss was most recently EVP of XFINITY Services for Comcast Cable, where he oversaw the video, Internet, home, and voice businesses. He was one of the pioneers of video-on-demand and helped transform the entertainment viewing experience for customers by launching X1, cloud DVR, live in-home streaming across devices, the talking guide, and the voice remote. Strauss was also one of the architects of Xfinity Flex, a new service that enables customers to enjoy over 10,000 movies and TV shows and easily access the popular entertainment apps — including Peacock when it launches. 

As Co-Chairmen of NBC Entertainment, Cheeks and Telegdy were jointly responsible for overseeing all aspects of primetime, late-night, and scripted daytime programming for the NBC network. Their strong partnership helped the network clinch a #1 victory for the 2018/2019 season for the fifth time in the last six years. Prior to their co-chairman roles, Cheeks cultivated one of the most successful late-night TV lineups in the industry includingSaturday Night Live, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and Late Night with Seth Meyers. Telegdy developed some of NBC’s biggest hits including The Voice, America’s Got Talent, World of Dance, and American Ninja Warrior.

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