NBC Universal is expected to tap Peacock development chief Katherine Pope as the head of its studio arm, replacing the exiting Angela Bromstad.
Pope has been the frontrunner for the gig since Tuesday, when NBC U TV Studio co-chair Marc Graboff made it clear he wanted Pope to remain with the company. Pope’s future at the conglom was in doubt over the Memorial Day weekend after she and NBC U supremo Jeff Zucker clashed when Zucker apparently reneged on promises to put Pope in charge of all studio development.
In fact, Zucker was negotiating to bring Silverman into the company, with he and Graboff taking oversight of both the studio and the network. Zucker and Pope made up, and Graboff said she was welcome to stay at NBC.
“She’s a key part of the senior team,” Graboff said Tuesday. “We want her to stay and hope she’ll stay.”
Once Graboff and Zucker signaled that Pope was back in their good graces, it became apparent she would take control of the studio. Pope had made it clear she didn’t want to stay on the network side of the business, and Silverman likely wants to bring in his own team on the development side.
That left a studio gig as the only real option for Pope at NBC.
Pope had also been approached about other offers, but ultimately decided NBC made the most sense.
In some ways, Pope’s new title won’t change anything. According to multiple sources, Pope has had a key role in the studio side of development for months now, as Bromstad prepared for a long-expected departure. Pope’s stepped up role was in part a reflection of the ever-present tension between Bromstad and the now-departed Kevin Reilly.
Bromstad has been expected to take a new gig heading up an international unit for NBC U, possibly relocating to London (Daily Variety, May 29). Despite the rocky relationship between Bromstad and Reilly, the collaboration produced successful skeins such as “Heroes” and “The Office.”
An NBC U spokesman declined comment.