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NBCU Lifestyle Group Integrates E! With Bravo, Triggering Layoffs, E!’s Betsy Slenzak Heads To Peacock

Nellie Andreeva

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In a major executive restructuring, NBCUniversal’s Lifestyle Group in undergoing further consolidation with the combining of key operations for E! with those for Bravo, Oxygen and Universal Kids, leading to the trimming of  almost 5% of the group’s workforce. That includes integrating E! and Bravo’s development teams under Rachel Smith, currently SVP, Bravo Development.

As part of the consolidation, E!’s EVP Development and Production Amy Introcaso-Davis is leaving, while Betsy Slenzak, VP of Development, will be moving to NBCU’s upcoming streaming platform Peacock as VP of Development for Unscripted under Bill McGoldrick

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The restructuring was foreshadowed by the recent exit of Adam Stotsky who stepped down as president of E!, bringing to an end an 18-year tenure at NBCUniversal. He is not going to be replaced, with his duties split among the leadership team.

Also leaving is Jerry Leo, EVP Program Strategy, Lifestyle Networks, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment & Production. The new round of layoffs follows the recent cuts at E! News.

In an internal note to staff, Frances Berwick, President Lifestyle Networks, NBCUniversal, on Thursday said that the “new structure, which creates multi-brand roles, will allow us to continue to grow the business and optimize our internal talent.” All the changes are effective immediately.

They include Jen Neal, previously EVP E! Marketing & Live Events, being promoted to General Manager, E! News, Live Events and Lifestyle Digital. In her new role, she will oversee the expanded E! News Operation and manage the Digital assets across Bravo, E!, Oxygen & Universal Kids.

Ellen Stone, currently EVP Marketing Bravo, Oxygen and Universal Kids, will assume responsibility for E! marketing as EVP, Marketing, Lifestyle Networks, creating a singular marketing team across all four Lifestyle brands.

Jennifer Geisser, SVP Communications for Bravo, Oxygen and Universal Kids, has promoted to SVP, Communications and Talent Relations for the Lifestyle Networks. Geisser is adding E! to her role as well as overseeing talent relations

Rachel Smith is being promoted to EVP, Development, Bravo & E!.

Rod Aissa, currently EVP, Programming & Development, Oxygen, will expand his role to also oversee production for E! as EVP, Original Programming, Oxygen and E! Production.

Shari Levine will continue in her role as EVP Production, Bravo.

Neal, Stone, Geisser, Smith, Aissa and Levine all report to Berwick, along with Holly Tang, CFO and Head of Production Operations, Lifestyle Networks, and Dave Kaplan, SVP Strategic Insights and Research, Lifestyle Networks.

Additionally, Val Boreland, currently EVP, Content Strategy for the Entertainment Networks, will take on an expanded role as EVP, Content Strategy, Entertainment & Lifestyle Group. Boreland will lead the program scheduling and acquisition teams across USA, Syfy, Bravo, E!, Oxygen and Universal Kids. In addition, Boreland will manage a newly-centralized promotion scheduling team across all six channels of the Entertainment & Lifestyle group. Boreland will co-report to Berwick and Chris McCumber, President Entertainment Networks.

Below is Berwick’s note to staff:

Today the Lifestyle Group is making some changes to better organize ourselves for the future. I’m confident that this new structure, which creates multi-brand roles, will allow us to continue to grow the business and optimize our internal talent.

With that, I’m excited to announce the following changes to my leadership team:

Effective immediately, Jen Neal, previously EVP E! Marketing & Live Events, has been promoted to General Manager, E! News, Live Events and Lifestyle Digital. In her new role, she will oversee the expanded E! News Operation and manage the Digital assets across Bravo, E!, Oxygen & Universal Kids. Jen will continue to oversee Live Events at E! including the People’s Choice Awards and Live from the Red Carpet.

Ellen Stone, currently EVP Marketing Bravo, Oxygen and Universal Kids, will assume responsibility for E! marketing as EVP, Marketing, Lifestyle Networks, creating a singular marketing team across all four Lifestyle brands.

Jennifer Geisser, SVP Communications for Bravo, Oxygen and Universal Kids, is adding E! to her role as well as overseeing talent relations and is promoted to SVP, Communications and Talent Relations for the Lifestyle Networks.

In an effort to further strengthen our creative position in the marketplace, we are combining Bravo and E! development and promoting Rachel Smith, currently SVP, Bravo Development, to EVP, Development, Bravo & E!

Rod Aissa, currently EVP, Programming & Development, Oxygen, will expand his role to also oversee production for E! as EVP, Original Programming, Oxygen and E! Production.

Shari Levine will continue in her role as EVP Production, Bravo.

All of these roles will report directly to me, effective immediately.

Holly Tang, CFO and Head of Production Operations, Lifestyle Networks, and Dave Kaplan, SVP Strategic Insights and Research, Lifestyle Networks, will also continue to report to me.

Lastly, in conjunction with the Entertainment Networks, Val Boreland, currently EVP, Content Strategy for the Entertainment Networks, will take on a new role as EVP, Content Strategy, Entertainment & Lifestyle Group. In her expanded role, Val will lead the program scheduling and acquisition teams across USA, SYFY, Bravo, E!, Oxygen and Universal Kids. In addition, Val will manage a newly-centralized promotion scheduling team across all six channels of the Entertainment & Lifestyle group. Val will co-report to me and Chris McCumber, President Entertainment Networks.

I realize that this is major change for us, but I believe this leadership team and new structure, along with the talented employees working across all these brands, will drive our continued success.

Frances

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