NBC Entertainment’s long-anticipated hiring of 20th Century Fox Television exec VP Jennifer Salke as its prexy brings aboard a well-regarded creative exec who has shepherded hits including “Glee” and “Modern Family.”
Her mandate will encompass primetime and daytime, with the casting, current, comedy development and drama development departments reporting to her.
NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt has been remaking the management ranks at NBC Entertainment as the company heads into the next development cycle. In May, he replaced Jeff Ingold with Sony Pictures Television’s Tal Rabinowitz as exec VP of comedy. But there’s no hiring imminent at NBCUniversal for an exec at Universal Media Studios, sources said. Greenblatt will maintain direct oversight for the time being, and he intends to increase its output so that it can service networks beyond NBC.
Salke has been a close friend and professional colleague of Greenblatt for years.
“There is no one in the television business more perfect for this job than Jennifer Salke,” Greenblatt said. “This is truly a significant moment for NBC as we continue to rebuild the network from top to bottom and put together the best possible team.”
“I can’t express how excited I am to be joining Bob at NBC and to be joining a company with the breadth and vision of Comcast,” Salke said.
Salke had been at 20th TV for a decade. Prior to that, she did stints at Columbia TriStar Television, where as senior VP of development she groomed WB series “Everwood,” and Spelling Television, where she had a hand in selling roughly 50 pilot scripts, including “7th Heaven” and “Charmed,” over the course of several years.
In an odd touch for a corporate press release, several paragraphs of Wednesday’s announcement lavished praise on 20th TV, even though it isn’t under the auspices of NBCUniversal. Twentieth TV co-chairs Gary Newman and Dana Walden were singled out for having “always advocated strong ties with NBC.” The release added “that will continue to grow with Salke now becoming the buyer.”
The goodwill phrasing, insiders said, is likely a reflection of the fact that Salke’s hire couldn’t have happened had 20th TV not let her out of her contract a year early — an unusual development given that 20th’s corporate sibling is NBC rival Fox Broadcasting.