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NBC Hires Viacom's George Cheeks As Chief Dealmaker

Beginning this fall, the executive will assume the position of EVP of business operations for both the network and studio.

NBC has found its new dealmaker.

The network has hired longtime Viacom executive George Cheeks as its EVP of business operations for both the network and studio, Universal Television. Though the roles are not identical, Cheeks will fill a void left by veteran Marc Graboff, who exited to take the helm at American Idol parent CKX late last year. Cheeks will oversee business affairs, music services and production operations.

"George is the consummate entertainment business executive who has successfully overseen virtually all aspects of television," said NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt, adding: "His vast experience, acumen and positive industry contacts will prove to be invaluable as we move forward to achieve our new goals at NBC."

Cheeks, who began his career as an entertainment attorney before joining MTV Networks in 1998, will not make the move until his Viacom contract expires this fall.

Email: Lacey.Rose@THR.com