NBCUniversal Research Chief Alan Wurtzel Segues to Advisory Role

Alan Wurtzel, longtime head of research for NBCUniversal, is segueing to an advisory role with a Peacock after 40-plus years in network TV.

Wurtzel is a respected executive known for his humorous and informative presentations on the changing world of TV ratings and viewing behavior. Wurtzel’s shift from his NBCU post as president of research and media development was announced to staffers in a memo Tuesday from Jeff Bader, NBC’s president of program planning, strategy and research.

“In his more than 40 years in television, Alan has pioneered research and measurement initiatives that have not only changed our company, but have also had a large impact on the industry as a whole,” Bader wrote.

With Wurtzel’s transition, NBC Entertainment and Universal Television’s research team will now report to Bader. NBC Sports research efforts will report to Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Broadcasting and Sports.

Wurtzel’s legacy at NBCU includes the development of its Total Audience Measurement Index, a pioneering effort to understand the impact of crossplatform viewing on major network events such as the Olympics. Last year, Wurtzel supervised the construction of the NBCUniversal Research Lab at the Universal Studios theme park in Orlando, Fla.

In 2009, Wurtzel was a driving force in the creation of the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement, an effort to bring together networks, advertisers and content producers to push for advancements in TV ratings and other measurement tools.

Wurtzel joined NBC in 1999 after a 21-year career at ABC. In his note to staffers, Bader noted that Wurtzel gave him his first job in network TV when he was hired in 1988 as a research analyst at ABC.

“It’s safe to say that NBCU would not be the thought-leader in research that we are today were it not for him,” Bader wrote.

More TV

  • Harley Quinn DC Universe

    4 Things We Learned at TCA 2019: Day 1

    The 2019 Television Critics Association summer press tour kicked off on Tuesday with presentations from DC Universe, A+E Networks, and Nat Geo. DC Universe, the DC-branded streaming service, brought their adult animated series based on “Harley Quinn,” while A+E brought along a range of projects from across their portfolio. It was also announced that A+E [...]

  • The Boys Amazon Prime

    TV News Roundup: Amazon Drops 'The Boys' Final Trailer (Watch)

    In today’s roundup, USA releases the trailer for the second season of “The Purge” and Amazon drops the final trailer before “The Boys” launches.  RENEWALS Viceland has renewed the pro wrestling docu-series “Dark Side of the Ring” for a second season. The upcoming season will feature 10 hour-long episodes chronicling the lives of wrestlers inside [...]

  • WGA West Logo

    WGA West Unveils Candidates for Election That Reflects Discord Over Agency Campaign

    The WGA West has unveiled the slate of candidates for officer posts and board seats in the election that reflects the divisions among members over the guild’s handling of the campaign to reform its rules governing talent agents. Scribes Phyllis Nagy (“Carol”) and William Schmidt (“Yellowstone”) are set to challenge David Goodman for the president’s [...]

  • The Code CBS

    'The Code' Canceled After One Season on CBS

    Freshman military drama “The Code” is officially done at CBS. The news comes just one day after the show’s season finale, which will now serve as the show’s series finale. “Thank you to all you wonderful people who watched [‘The Code’],” series star Dana Delany wrote on Twitter. “Last night was our finale and sadly, [...]

  • Matt Tolmach'Venom' film premiere, Arrivals, Los

    Amazon to Develop Human IPO Series With Matt Tolmach Producing

    Amazon is developing a series inspired by the true story of a man who sold shares of himself to investors, Variety has learned. In a competitive situation, Amazon has landed the project, titled “JNNA.” It is described as a half-hour comedy about the next big investment craze — humans. It is inspired by Mike Merrill, [...]

  • Olympics

    NBCUniversal Projects More Than $1.2 Billion in Ad Sales for 2020 Olympics

    NBCUniversal projected it would sell more than $1.2 billion in advertising for its 17 days of broadcasts of the 2020 Olympics from Tokyo, citing the event as a rare opportunity for Madison Avenue to reach big audiences without the worry of politics getting in the way of a commercial message. The Olympics is “one of [...]

  • R Kelly Sexual Assult Accusations Mugshot

    'Surviving R. Kelly' Follow Up, Jeffrey Epstein Docuseries in the Works at Lifetime

    Lifetime is working on a follow up to the hit docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly” and a new docuseries about Jeffrey Epstein. Rob Sharenow, president of programming for A+E Networks, made the announcements at the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Tuesday. “The Aftermath” will be a four-part series featuring interviews with new survivors, psychologists, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content