Manze shifts roles at NBC


Vince Manze has stepped down as president, NBC program planning, scheduling and strategy to assume a new high-level consulting role as president, NBC Universal Television Creative Services.

Mitch Metcalf, NBC's executive vp, program planning and scheduling, who had run the network's scheduling department until Manze took over in April 2007, will resume oversight of the department. Lisa Vebber, senior vp, scheduling and strategic analysis, will serve as Metcalf's No. 2.

Manze and Metcalf will report to NBC co-chairmen Ben Silverman and Marc Graboff. Vebber will report to Metcalf.

In this new position, Manze -- a former producer and top NBC marketing executive -- will serve as an in-house creative consultant to all of NBC Universal's television properties, new media and program development.

"I will be free to come up with any idea that I can dream up with regard to programming, marketing and sales integration, stunt weeks, casting, plot lines on shows, even observations on ratings and scheduling," he said. Additionally, through his development deal with NBC, Manze will develop original programming for the network.

"Vince's versatile talents have allowed him to contribute to NBC over a variety of platforms for many years, and his previous creative experience gives him a head start on this latest endeavor," Silverman said.

Manze, who headed the NBC Agency before switching to scheduling last year, said he felt a little constrained creatively in the new position. Additionally, he made the move in April, shortly before NBC went though a management overhaul that brought in Silverman as a top programmer.

"The company's needs have changed," Manze said. "As Jeff (Zucker), Ben and Marc are trying to change the business and the creative process, there are tremendous opportunities, and I think the company will benefit more from my ideas than from the scheduling," Manze said.

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

He has overseen numerous promotional and marketing campaigns such as the rebranding of the network's Thursday 8-10 p.m. comedy block as "Comedy Night Done Right," the "Must See TV" franchise campaign, as well as the "Save the Cheerleader, Save the World" campaign for "Heroes."

In addition to overseeing scheduling and program planning, Metcalf's duties include coordinating on the network's cross-platform opportunities with Jeff Gaspin, Universal TV Group's president and CEO.

In his more than six years overseeing scheduling for NBC, Metcalf has orchestrated such moves as putting "The Apprentice" on Thursday and launching "Deal or No Deal" on five consecutive nights.