Digital switch at NBC Uni: Perrette heads output unit

Interconnectivity 'big thing' in '07

NBC Universal on Tuesday promoted Jean-Briac "J.B." Perrette to president of digital distribution.

Perrette will coordinate the distribution of NBC Uni's television content across such digital platforms as interactive television, wireless and IPTV. NBC Uni said he will be the primary contact for the company's discussion of putting television content on other companies' Web, wireless and emerging digital platforms. He will report to chief digital officer George Kliavkoff.

Tuesday's announcement is another internal move following the departures of top NBC Uni executives Randy Falco and David Zaslav. Perrette's promotion is part of the divvying up of Zaslav's responsibilities within the digital division. Perrette reported to Zaslav as senior vp digital distribution and chief financial officer of NBC Uni Cable before his promotion.

Digital is a significant part of NBC Universal's future, with the company expecting $1 billion in annual revenue by 2009. In an interview Tuesday, Perrette said that he would continue to look at NBC Uni's television assets and place smart bets on what the consumers want and how they want it to continue to grow revenue. He said that next month's Consumer Electronics Show will unveil more devices and ways to provide content from the PC to the TV, TV to wireless and other ways.

"Interconnectivity in simple and seamless fashion to consumers is going to be a big thing next year," Perrette said. "We're going to continue to innovate in this space."

Perrette led the merging of NBC Uni's and Vivendi's cable divisions in May 2004. He joined NBC's business development office in 2000 and later became chief financial officer of Bravo after helping NBC acquire the company in 2002.

NBC Uni also said Universal Studios Home Entertainment president Craig Kornblau will continue to have responsibility for its digital distribution to retail customers. Bridget Baker will oversee cable, satellite and teleco digital distribution as president of Television Networks Distribution.

Perrette's direct reports will be vp new-media distribution Michael Bonner, vp wireless Salil Dalvi, vp new-media distribution Ronald Lamprecht and vp VOD marketing Stacy Melle. He also will be in charge of cable investments including A&E, NBC Weather Plus and the Sundance Channel, which is led by Douglas Holloway.