Gaspin group leader for NBC


NBC Universal is consolidating all of its non-NBC and non-Universal Media Studios television properties into Universal Television Group, a newly formed division to be overseen by NBC Uni's cable and digital guru Jeff Gaspin.

In his new position as president and COO of Uni TV Group, Gaspin will add oversight of Telemundo TV network, its 16 owned-and-operated stations and NBC Uni's domestic first-run and off-net syndication unit to his current portfolio that includes NBC Uni's entertainment cable networks — USA Network, Bravo, Chiller, Sci Fi Channel, Sleuth and Universal HD — and its digital and wireless efforts.

Telemundo and first-run syndication previously reported to NBC Uni TV stations and network operations president Jay Ireland, who recently left the company to become president and CEO at GE Asset Management. Off-net syndication was under the purview of Marc Graboff, who was named co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios two months ago.

Gaspin is the third NBC Uni executive to take over some of Ireland's responsibilities, along with John Wallace, who recently was named president of the NBC O&O stations and NBC TV Network, and Media Works president John Eck, who added oversight of NBC affiliate relations and network operations.

Telemundo president Don Browne and Barry Wallach, president of NBC Universal's domestic distribution division, now will report to Gaspin.

Gaspin continues to report to NBC president and CEO Jeff Zucker.

"Jeff is one of those rare executives who has both great creative sensibilities and well-developed business acumen," Zucker said. "I'm pleased to add to his responsibilities with this promotion and am confident he will continue his record of outstanding performance."

As president of NBC Universal Cable and Digital Content and president of NBC Uni cable entertainment and cross-network strategy during the past three years, Gaspin led NBC Uni's entertainment cable division to its strongest performance ever and more than doubled the traffic to all of the TV group's entertainment Web sites with the implementation of video streaming.

Gaspin called his new expanded portfolio "an evolution of responsibility."

"We're a content company in a changing world," Gaspin said. "The goal in creating this job was to make sure that we maximize both for the consumer and for NBC Universal the value of that content."

NBC Uni has struggled launching first-run syndicated shows in the past few years with the short-lived talk shows hosted by Jane Pauley and Megan Mullally.

Gaspin said daytime talk shows "has been a challenging business and challenging daypart" and that he's "looking at new types of content" to bring to the first-run arena.

On the Telemundo side, Gaspin said he has worked with Browne for 15 years and has a great rapport with him.

"We finish each other's sentences," he said. "I know Don and the team are poised to take Telemundo to the next level, and I am excited to help them with my expertise in network TV."

Gaspin previously served as executive vp alternative series, longform, specials and program strategy at NBC.

He served as Bravo's president and before that successfully relaunched VH1 in the late 1990s.

Gaspin began his career in the stations division of NBC in 1984 and moved to NBC News in 1987.