Manze gets with NBC's program


Veteran NBC promotion executive Vince Manze, president and creative director of the NBC Agency, is making a leap to the programming side as president of program planning, scheduling and strategy.

In the newly created position, Manze will shepherd the network's long-term strategy in scheduling and promotion, with an emphasis on creating more noise with event programming — specials, tie-ins with other NBC Universal divisions and stunts in the vein of supersizing NBC's Thursday comedies — to drive viewership to the network's series. He also will oversee cross-platform programming and marketing initiatives, including series extensions on the NBC 360 digital initiative. Manze will report to NBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly.

Mitch Metcalf, NBC executive vp program planning and strategy, who is in the last year of a three-year contract extension with NBC he inked in November 2004, will report to Manze. Sources said that Metcalf, who will continue to handle NBC's day-to-day scheduling operations, is in talks for a new deal with the network.

For the time being, NBC does not plan to bring in an executive to replace Manze at the NBC Agency. Manze's longtime NBC advertising and promotion partner John Miller, chief marketing officer at NBC Universal Television Group and president of NBC Agency, is expected to take a bigger role in overseeing the agency.

Manze has overseen numerous promotional and marketing campaigns for NBC, most recently the rebranding of the network's Thursday 8-10 p.m. comedy block as "Comedy Night Done Right" and the "Save the Cheerleader, Save the World" campaign for "Heroes." His development experience includes co-creating and executive producing the syndicated adventure series "She Spies" and numerous NBC specials.

Manze, an Emmy and Promax Pinnacle Award winner, served as senior vp advertising and promotion at NBC Entertainment from 1992-99, when he helped to launch the NBC Agency.