Online guru named president, COO of unit
Jeff Gaspin has been named prexy and chief operating officer of Universal Television Group, a newly created division at NBC U that consolidates all non-NBC television assets under the Peacock’s cable and online guru.“By creating the Universal Television Group, we are simplifying our organization,” said NBC U chief exec Jeff Zucker. Gaspin, who will continue to report to Zucker, adds Telemundo, including the Spanish-language net’s 16 owned stations, as well as network and off-net syndication to his portfolio. He will be responsible for leveraging NBC U programming in a proliferating number of windows and distribution technologies from cable to wireless to online. “We are a content company, and it has become clear in the last couple of years that distribution is changing rapidly,” said Gaspin, who described his job as “determining where the content should play and when it should play to the benefit of the consumer and the company.” Gaspin will continue his broad oversight of the conglom’s cable nets, NBC U’s fastest-growing segment, as well as digital distribution. Gaspin is taking over some of the responsibilities that had fallen under the domain of former Peacock exec Jay Ireland, who left the network for a post at GE. Ireland’s other duties were split between John Wallace, who was named president of NBC’s owned stations, and John Eck, who took over affiliate relations and network operations. Promotion of Gaspin also opens the door for one of two key execs, USA/Sci Fi topper Bonnie Hammer or Bravo mogul Lauren Zalaznick, to head the entire cable division. “While I think we have tremendous talent in the cable group, there’s no news in that area,” Gaspin said. Zucker called Gaspin “one of those rare executives who has both great creative sensibilities and well-developed business acumen.” Gaspin’s most recent Peacock tour of duty began in 2001. Before that, he had a successful run at VH1.