Licata has been in the post of exec VP of communications for a little more than three years, which marked a period of intense rebuilding for NBC following the Peacock’s acquisition by Comcast. NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said in a memo to staffers that Licata was a “key component” in the network’s return to No. 1 last season.
“When I took on the challenge of moving NBC out of last place, it only made sense that Richard would be instrumental in that as well. And he was. We couldn’t have done it without him,” Greenblatt wrote.
The move is a surprise given Licata’s long run as a key Greenblatt lieutenant. His role is not expected to be replaced, at least not immediately.
Licata was candid in telling staffers in a memo that the experience of dealing with the death of his father this summer made him take stock and reflect on what he wanted for the next chapter of his career.
“The satisfaction I’ve felt in working with all of you to take NBC back to No. 1 has led me to want to hit reset; to pause for a moment and find something to rebuild again,” Licata wrote.
Licata will remain on board at NBC for the next few weeks as he helps shepherd the Dec. 4 live telecast of the musical “Peter Pan.” And Greenblatt said Licata would likely be engaged down the road on “certain projects where we need his expertise.” That may well include NBC’s Emmy and Golden Globe campaigns, as Licata is known for his creative efforts to generate kudos traction for shows.
Before coming to NBC, Licata had a seven-year run working with Greenblatt as head of PR for Showtime. The two also worked together at Fox in the 1990s, where Licata rose to head the PR department. Earlier in his career, Licata worked for HBO, and he served a stint at Rogers & Cowan between his Fox and Showtime gigs.