Longtime NBC exec Jerry Petry is retiring after 34 years with the Peacock.
Most recently the exec VP of administration at NBC Universal TV Group, Petry has held a wide variety of executive positions at the company — and played a key role in the launch of NBC Enterprises, as well as the integration of NBC Universal.
Petry said the timing was right for his departure — both professionally and personally.
It’s the right time for me, I’m still young and can do other things,” he said. “But after four years in the military and 34 at NBC, it will be nice not to get up every morning and be tied to a desk.”
In a memo to staffers, NBC Universal TV chairman Marc Graboff said he was announcing Petry’s departure at the end of the month “with mixed feelings.”
He is one of the most experienced and respected executives in our business, and has had a very successful career with NBC Universal,” Graboff said. “Jerry has been a great mentor to many of us, especially me, as well as a great source of experience and institutional knowledge.”
Petry joined NBC in 1976, working in finance and business affairs gigs at both the network and KNBC. He joined NBC Prods. in 1988, and by the mid-1990s was a key lieutenant of Don Ohlmeyer’s as senior VP of finance and business operations. He took on the job of exec VP of NBC Entertprises in 1997.
He has held his current position since 2006.
Petry noted that he felt that the upcoming Comcast acquisition of NBC U repped a good time to depart.
I’ve been a part of the GE family now for 20 years and enjoyed that GE has been good to me,” he said. “This coincides nicely with the stage I’m a now in my life.”
Petry said career highlights included growing NBC Prods. under Brandon Tartikoff; working under Ohlmeyer in the mid-1990s as the network went from third to first; building NBC Enterprises with Ed Wilson in the late 1990s; and helping with the transition to NBC U under Jeff Zucker.
Petry is part of a three-generation NBC household. His father began at the Peacock in the 1930s as a page, and directed the “Howdy Doody” TV show before eventually retiring in 1980 as the head of broadcast standards at the network.
Petry’s daughter is a producer on “Access Hollywood.”