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Peacock prez picks Zigler

A current affair for NBC marketing exec

HOLLYWOOD — In a surprise summer staff shakeup, NBC Entertainment prexy Kevin Reilly is putting marketing exec Vivi Zigler in charge of production for all Peacock series programming.

Zigler, who until recently worked at the NBC Agency and oversaw marketing for Bravo, has been named exec VP of current programs for NBC Entertainment.

Gig essentially makes her responsible for maintaining the success of hit shows while working to turn around the quality of more marginal performers. Heading up current programs is considered one of the most important jobs in network TV, if not exactly as glamorous as development.

With Zigler’s promotion, NBC veteran Ted Frank, who’s been at the Peacock since 1975, will segue into the newly created post of exec VP of entertainment strategy and programs. He’ll oversee the Peacock’s entertainment associates program and work on product integration and digital media initiatives.

Both Zigler and Frank will report to Reilly.

Reilly said he was looking to “enhance Vivi’s previous role as a marketing and promotions wizard” and said her “proven instincts will be a major advantage” in her new gig.

“She’s smart, intuitive and has proven to be a quick study in every challenging new role she’s been given,” Reilly said.

Industry insiders believe Reilly’s move is designed to bring a more marketing-oriented approach to NBC’s current department. With net now in fouth place in the ratings, Peacock execs may be looking for ways to make their current skeins stand out more in a crowded marketplace.

Zigler had been at the NBC Agency since 1999, working in advertising services. In late 2003, following the Peacock’s purchase of Bravo, she was given added responsibilities of working on the relaunch of the cabler.

Exec, working with Bravo topper Jeff Gaspin, helped with the launch campaigns for successes such as “Queer Eye” and “Celebrity Poker.”

It’s rare but not unprecedented for current execs to emerge from outside the normal exec ranks. Par Network TV prexy David Stapf worked as head of publicity for Warner Bros. TV before taking over as head of current at CBS. And 20th prexy Dana Walden got her start touting skeins.

Zigler joined the Peacock in 1996, working as VP of affiliate advertising and promotion services for NBC Entertainment. She had previously been in the station business, working for Seattle’s KING-TV and serving as station manager of San Luis Obispo’s KSBY.

Frank had been head of current at NBC since 1999 and was upped to exec VP of the department a year ago.

“We want to take advantage of Ted’s abilities and experience to cover a broad range of internal responsibilities that are becoming more crucial to the network every day,” Reilly said.

During his 30 years at NBC, Frank has worked in many departments, including development, current and research. He oversaw production of NBC’s “Frasier” throughout its Peacock run and supervised many others, including “Cheers,” “Mad About You,” “Friends” and “ER.” He also had a hand in the development of “Will & Grace.”

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