Comcast Officially Hires New Executive to Try to Save NBC


Bob Greenblatt, the TV executive who made Showtime safe for series such as Dexter, Weeds, and Californication, has officially become the latest contestant on Who Wants to Save NBC's Ass? After weeks of rumors and speculation, Kabletown Comcast chief Steve Burke today put out a memo/press release outlining the company's expected new structure. Broadcast vet Ted Harbert (who currently runs E! and its sister channels for Comcast) will now be NBC's money guy, running ad sales, local stations, and syndication. Bonnie Hammer and Lauren Zalaznick remain in charge of all things cable (though Zalaznick is also taking control of Telemundo, so expect a Real Housewives of Mexico City soon). And then there's Greenblatt: He'll become chairman of NBC Entertainment, putting him in charge of all programming and production for the Peacock once Comcast assumes control of NBC Universal in a few weeks. Greenblatt's appointment had been expected for months, so much so that agents and rival network execs have reported that Greenblatt has been calling around soliciting them for advice on how he should try to reshape the fourth-place network. While departing overlord Jeff Zucker has remained a constant, NBC's West Coast–based management has changed leadership (Ancier! Reilly! Silverman!) or direction about once every two years for much of the past decade; Greenblatt's mission is thus pretty simple: Find a plan that works, and stick with it. He'll also need to make sure everybody forgets that, in addition to launching many fine programs at Showtime and exec-producing HBO's Six Feet Under, his résumé also includes producing The Hughleys, One on One, and Oh, Grow Up.