U TV taps Holzman as research VP

Exec to identify p'gramming, distrib'n opportunities

Universal Television Group has tapped USA Network’s honcho Rick Holzman to the post of senior VP of the newly created Strategic Research Group.

Holzman, who served as VP, research and planning at USA, will be responsible for identifying programming and distribution opportunities for company.

The exec’s priorities will include designing original and innovative strategies for gathering, analyzing and using audience intelligence across all of U’s businesses — including production, syndication, sales, affiliate relations, emerging networks and cable channels.

It’s the first time all these TV businesses have been under one roof, and Holzman’s hire suggests a new effort is under way to take a group approach to these activities.

“Under Rick’s leadership, we will break new ground in gaining a better understanding of our viewers’ wants, needs and behaviors in this increasingly complex environment,” said Michael Jackson, group chairman and CEO. “Enhancing both the quantity and quality of our business intelligence is critical to our mission of competing effectively against the larger, vertically integrated media companies.”

Before his short-lived gig at USA — he joined the network in November 2001 — Holzman held various strategic, research, creative and general management jobs in both the television and interactive industries, including a 10-year tenure at MTV Networks.

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