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NBC lures Jeff Bader from ABC

Sked guru spent 24 years at Alphabet

Longtime ABC programming lieutenant Jeff Bader has decamped for a top post at NBC, the network announced Tuesday.

Bader was named president of programming planning, strategy and research at NBC Entertainment, where his oversight will extend across primetime, daytime and late-night programming divisions. Research and scheduling departments will report into him.

“I am thrilled that Jeff Bader is joining the new NBC family,” said NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt, to whom Bader will report. “He is widely known as one of the broadcasting industry’s most consummate executives and he will be integral in the re-building of NBC in many ways.”

Bader is just the latest high-ranking replacement Greenblatt has put in place across the network, which has made changes everywhere from marketing to digital media since he joined the network from Showtime.

Uncertain is the fate of Lisa Vebber, the Peacock’s current senior VP of scheduling. An NBC spokesman denied she has exited the network.

Bader will also be reunited with NBC broadcasting chairman Ted Harbert, with whom he worked at ABC. He will help Harbert in sales, affiliate and distribution efforts.

The timing of Bader’s appointment comes on the eve of the launch of NBC’s fall lineup, which raised eyebrows for several moves including the absence of a scripted drama Thursday at 10 p.m., a traditional power spot for the Peacock. Instead, ratings-challenged newsmagazine “Rock Center with Brian Williams” was assigned the time slot.

Bader most recently served as executive VP planning, scheduling and distribution at ABC, where he spent 24 years. He actually started his career at NBC, before moving onto the Alphabet.

Bader joined ABC in 1988 as supervisor of audience analysis and worked his way up at the network in various posts spanning the program development, planning and scheduling departments.

An ABC spokeswoman declined to comment on what the network will do regarding replacing Bader, but thanked him for his contributions over the years. “This is a great opportunity for him and we wish him well.”

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