Bela Bajaria to Head Universal Media Studios


NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt adds former CBS/CBS Studios exec to his growing team.

CBS/CBS TV Studios executive Bela Bajaria has been tapped to join NBC Entertain Chairman Bob Greenblatt's new and expanding team as executive vp of Universal Media Studios. 

Bajaria will oversee NBC's production arm, part of an effort by Greenblatt to separate the company's studio from its network, now run by former 20th Century Fox TV executive Jennifer Nicholson Salke.

“I am delighted that we have lured an executive of Bela’s breadth and experience to run UMS with me,” Greenblatt said in a statement. "I worked with her in several capacities -- most notably, she was my network executive when I produced the Elvis miniseries for CBS -- and I’ve always admired her creative instincts, her unbridled enthusiasm and her skills as both a buyer and a seller."

He added, "she is the breath of fresh air we need as we start to reorganize UMS into a studio that will continue to produce series for NBC as well as the other networks.” 

Bajaria, who will assume the role in mid-August, is part of Greenblatt's plan to assemble his own team, which now includes former Showtime PR chief Richard Licata as well. NBC's chief told members of the press corps at the Television Critics Association semi-annual tour Monday that he'd be making more executive announcements in the next few weeks.

Bajaria currently serves as senior vp cable programming for CBS TV Studios and senior vp of movies and miniseries for the CBS network. In addition to her 10-year stewardship of CBS's longform division responsible for the Hallmark Hall of Fame franchise, she has been running CBS TV Studios' cable division since its creation four years ago, shepherding a number of projects, including the A&E series The Cleaner and Common Law, which was recently picked up to series by USA. She also has developed several projects for Showtime, working closely with Greenblatt while he ran the premium cable network. 

Bajaria's current slate includes two projewcts for Showtime: a docu-comedy from Glenn Gordon Caron and Andrew Gurland and one-hour drama Panic Boys, written by Roberto Benabib and starring Anthony Edwards and Mark Ruffalo.