NBCU merges domestic & international

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NBCUniversal is merging its domestic and international divisions, with Kevin MacLellan, chairman of  global distribution and international operations, set to exit the company.

Before MacLellan ends his near two-decade career with the company, hewill work with NBCU film and entertainment chairman Jeff Shell and chairman of NBCU’s international group and Telemundo, Cesar Conde, on a transition plan.

Recently appointed NBCUniversal Content Studios chairman Bonnie Hammer, who was formerly in charge of the company’s forthcoming streaming service Peacock and is now heading up both Universal Television and Universal Content Productions, will oversee the international studio following MacLellan’s exit.

In an internal memo to staff, Shell said: “In light of Kevin’s departure, we have reassessed our international organisational structure. With the rapidly evolving global media landscape, we have decided to more closely align our US and international operations. This will perfectly position us for future growth, as we take advantage of our increased international footprint and the growing number of platforms for our content.”

The memo continued: “Change is never easy, but I’m confident that we have never been better positioned for global growth. The combination of our outstanding international team, with the strength and reach of our new sister company Sky, sets us up for future success in a very competitive marketplace. Thank you for your continued contribution to our business.”

The new structure of the international group will be:

International Networks 

Ken Bettsteller will become President, Global Networks, overseeing all non-Sky Network operations across EMEA, APAC and LatAm, adding Lee Raftery as a direct report, and partnering with Justin Che. Ken will report directly to Conde, Chairman, NBCUniversal International Group and Telemundo Enterprises. DreamWorks Animation Networks, headed by Jennifer Lawlor, will report to Lee. Duccio Donati, EVP, Lifestyle & Kids Networks, will now report to Frances Berwick, President of the NBCUniversal Lifestyle Networks. Duccio will continue to oversee E! Entertainment Television internationally and will take on oversight of hayu, led by Hendrik McDermott.

International Production

International Studios, headed by Jeff Wachtel, will now report to Bonnie Hammer, Chairman, NBCUniversal Content Studios and George Cheeks, Vice Chairman, NBCUniversal Content Studios. International Formats group will now report to Meredith Ahr, President, Alternative and Reality Group, NBC Entertainment.

International Leadership and Corporate functions

Global Distribution, led by Belinda Menendez, will now report jointly to George Cheeks and Pete Levinsohn, President and Chief Distribution Officer for Universal Filmed Entertainment Group. Business Development in EMEA will move under Sky, with Ben Braun, SVP, Strategy & Business Development, coordinating Business Development in LatAm and APAC in partnership with Cesar and Justin Che. The leaders of each of the international functions including Finance, Human Resources, Legal, Government Affairs, Corporate Communications, International Media Operations, IT, Facilities, Real Estate and Security will help with the transition and report into the U.S. functional heads of each group. David Gibbons, SVP, International Operations & Technology, will leave his role in 2020 following completion of key integration projects.


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