Universal Cable sets exec structure

New management team will have eye toward originals

Four months after the cable operations of Universal Media Studios were spun off into Universal Cable Prods., a new production entity under NBC Universal cable chief Bonnie Hammer, the new division has tapped a five-member management team to run it.

Sci Fi Channel executive vp original programming Mark Stern and USA Network exec vp original programming Jeff Wachtel -- whose networks run most of UCP's series, including "Psych" and "Battlestar Galactica" -- will oversee the creative efforts of the new studio as co-heads, original content. Javier Maynulet has been named CFO and head of operations; Beth Roberts is head of business affairs; and Jerry DiCanio is head of production.

"Everyone will have an equal voice on where we go and how we get there," Hammer told critics Sunday at the Television Critics Assn. press tour. "We will look to turn each property into a franchise. It's all about owning and managing a franchise for its lifetime."

Hammer said the new organization represents a new way of doing business, saying it "taps into the strengths of the great team we have already in place and deals head-on with the challenges facing media companies today." She said the new structure will eliminate management layers and empower the team to evaluate and manage each product based on its creative and financial potential.

An asset creation executive and a new development executive, neither of whom were immediately named, will report to the management team.