Jeff Wachtel has been elevated to exec VP, creative affairs, at Columbia Pictures TV, assuming supervision of comedy development and production in addition to handling those chores on movies and drama series.

The promotion — clearly establishing Wachtel as the No. 2 exec within CPT, reporting to president Scott Siegler — follows recent confirmation that Steven Mendelson would be leaving his post as exec VP of comedy development at the studio (Daily Variety, April 13).

By consolidating comedy and drama under one executive, Columbia follows a similar model to that employed by some other major program suppliers, such as Lorimar TV.

Wachtel was named to his most recent post of senior VP, drama, in July 1991, after overseeing such longform productions as the NBC miniseries “Switched at Birth.” During his tenure the studio has also expanded its involvement in production of one-hour series with the current CBS show “Raven,” the upcoming NBC summer series “Route 66″ (with Propaganda Films) and a half-dozen drama pilot candidates for next season.

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