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NBC’s White takes long view as exec producer

Exec's departure expected since last spring

HOLLYWOOD — NBC exec VP of movies and minis Steve White will ankle the web at the end of this year, taking on a new role as a longform exec producer based at NBC Studios.

White’s departure had been expected since Jeff Gaspin came to the Peacock last spring as head of alternative programming and longform. But Gaspin asked White to stay on for an extended transition period to help complete production of pics already in the pipeline.

While White is stepping down, and NBC has dramatically scaled back its telepic production, Gaspin was quick to emphasize that the Peacock isn’t abandoning longform altogether. Indeed, longform execs Stephen Bulka and Jennifer O’Connell are remaining at NBC to help develop a small number of projects per year.

“Although we will no longer have a movie-of-the-week franchise, it is important that we maintain a balanced schedule that does include movies and miniseries,” Gaspin said. “By transitioning Steve to an executive producer role, we are getting the best of both worlds — his expertise as a programming executive and his remarkable history as a very successful executive producer.”

Smaller focus

White rejoined NBC in February, just as the net was beginning to experience a dramatic decline in the ratings success of its once-mighty movie franchise. Instead of big event pictures, White immediately began focusing on smaller-scale productions, such as the recent critically acclaimed mini “Uprising” and the upcoming “Matthew Shepherd Story.”

“This is a great chance for me to move over and be of some use producing (for NBC),” White said of his departure. He said he hopes to be “a goodwill ambassador” for exec producers, either working on his own projects or coming on board other NBC Studios pics.

Before his most recent stint at NBC, White worked at the Peacock for several years during the 1980s, ultimately serving as senior VP of movies and minis for the net. He left in 1986 to serve as prexy of New World Pictures.

White has also worked as an indie producer on pics such as “She Said No,” “She Cried No” and “She Stood Alone.” He headed his own company, Steve White Entertainment, and also partnered with wife Sheri Singer to form Singer/White Entertainment.

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