Manze gets creative for NBC

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Vince Manze has stepped down as president of NBC program planning, scheduling and strategy to assume a new high-level consulting role as president of NBC Universal Television Creative Services.

NBC executive vp program planning and scheduling Mitch Metcalf, who had run the network's scheduling department until Manze took over in April, will resume oversight of the department. Senior vp scheduling and strategic analysis Lisa Vebber will serve as Metcalf's No. 2.

Manze and Metcalf will report to NBC co-chairmen Ben Silverman and Marc Graboff. Vebber will report to Metcalf.

In this new position, Manze, a former producer and top NBC marketing executive, will serve as an in-house creative consultant to all of NBC Universal's television properties, new media and program development.

"I will be free to come up with any idea that I can dream up with regard to programming, marketing and sales integration, stunt weeks, casting, plot lines on shows, even observations on ratings and scheduling," he said. Additionally, through his development deal with NBC, Manze will develop original programming for the network.

Manze, who headed the NBC Agency before switching to scheduling last year, said he felt a little constrained creatively in his former position. Additionally, he made the move in April, shortly before NBC went though a management overhaul that brought in Silverman as a top programmer.

"The company's needs have changed," Manze said. "As Jeff (Zucker), Ben and Marc are trying to change the business and the creative process, there are tremendous opportunities, and I think the company will benefit more from my ideas than from the scheduling," Manze said.

In addition to overseeing scheduling and program planning, Metcalf's duties include coordinating on the network's cross-platform opportunities with Universal TV Group president and CEO Jeff Gaspin.
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