CBS and NBC building bridges to digital realm

Nets tap digital toppers

Just in time for the fall TV season launch, CBS and NBC have named execs to bridge the gap between entertainment and digital.

At the Peacock, Vivi Zigler has been named exec VP of NBC digital entertainment and new media, while the Eye has hired Jonathan Barzilay to serve as senior VP, digital, at CBS digital media.

Both execs, who will serve as the liaison between their respective networks’ programming operations and digital arms, were coincidentally announced Monday.

Zigler takes on her newly created job after previously serving as exec VP of current programs at NBC. She’ll focus on finding ways to create an Internet presence for the Peacock’s primetime, latenight and daytime skeins.

Erin Gough Wehrenberg, senior VP of current programs, will oversee that department, handling shows such as “My Name Is Earl” and “The Office.”

The shuffle was announced by NBC Entertainment prexy Kevin Reilly as well as Jeff Gaspin, president of NBC Universal cable entertainment, digital content and cross network strategy.

Prior to heading the current programming department, Zigler served as senior VP of marketing and advertising services at the NBC Agency and handled Bravo’s marketing and advertising.

“Vivi is one of the few executives with a background in marketing, cable, sales, stations, news and most recently, heading up the current programming group,” Gaspin said.

Meanwhile, Barzilay joins CBS after a stint as a broadcast, cable and wireless consultant. As senior VP, entertainment, as CBS digital media, he’ll serve as its key contact with the CBS Paramount Television Entertainment Group in finding digital strategies for the Eye’s various arms.

Barzilay will report to CBS Digital Media prexy Larry Kramer, but also work closely with CBS Paramount Network TV Entertainment Group topper Nancy Tellem.

“We are ramping up our entertainment offerings across multiple platforms, so it was time for us to bring in a senior executive to help coordinate our efforts with the entertainment division,” Kramer said. “Jonathan has lived in both worlds and will be invaluable to our efforts to extend our existing businesses into the digital universe.”

Tellem noted that the position was necessary, given that just about every entertainment meeting at the company involves a discussion of how the digital world might be involved.

Barzilay’s credits include 15 years at ABC, including stints as senior VP, Disney/ABC Cable Networks Group and GM at ABC Kids and Toon Disney.

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