Gaspin cuts program ties

Reilly to oversee reality, longform and specials

Jeff Gaspin is cutting his ties to NBC programming, giving up control of the Peacock’s unscripted and longform divisions.

Gaspin held on to an oversight role of those divisions even after being upped to his current gig overseeing the Peacock’s cable assets. Under a restructuring announced Wednesday, the heads of reality, longform and specials will now report directly to NBC Entertainment prexy Kevin Reilly.

“Kevin has always had the ultimate responsibility for the network’s prime time schedule, but with Jeff Gaspin’s attention elsewhere, it now makes the most sense to have reality, specials and longform report directly into Kevin,” said NBC U TV Group prexy Jeff Zucker.

Move could be seen as a vote of confidence in Reilly, who’s publicly acknowledged rumors about his fate in the wake of the net’s current ratings woes. More likely, it’s a sign that Zucker is allowing Reilly to finally clear up the complicated NBC Entertainment exec structure and have more day-to-day control of the net’s fate.

While NBC is down double digits for the season and the November sweeps, two programs championed by Reilly — “My Name Is Earl” and “The Office” — are performing well. “Earl” is the breakout hit of the season, while “The Office” is slowly improving on Tuesday nights.

Restructuring is also a reflection of Gaspin’s expanding duties on the cable and emerging networks side of NBC U. Company recently announced plans for a new mystery-themed cabler, and Gaspin will no doubt be a key player in the Peacock’s plans to put NBC U content on a slew of platforms, from iPods to cell phones.

Indeed, Gaspin’s cumbersome 11-word title — president, NBC U Cable Entertainment, digital content and cross-network strategy — remains unchanged.