JoAnn Alfano is set to lead current programming for the both Universal Television and Universal Content Productions.
The announcement was made Tuesday by Pearlena Igbokwe, chairperson of Universal Studio Group, in a letter to staff obtained by Variety. In addition, Alfano will add the International Formats Group to her purview, with the group being folded into USG. Her new title will be executive vice president of scripted current series and head of international business development for USG. She will report to Igbokwe for formats and international business development and UCP president Dawn Olmstead and the yet to be named president of Universal Television for current series.
“JoAnn is well respected across the industry and we are lucky to have someone who brings such a wealth of experience to this newly created role,” Igbokwe wrote.
Enrique Guillen, executive vice president of commercial strategy and international development, will now be reporting to Alfano. He is responsible for establishing sales plans for NBCU IP on the international markets as well as identifying new global sources of projects.
The moves come as Igbokwe continues to establish her new position as the head of USG, having previously served as the head of UTV. Most recently, she added the Universal Alternative Studio to her portfolio following the exit of studio head Meredith Ahr.
Please join me in welcoming the International Formats Group to our Universal Studio Group (USG) family!
Enrique Guillen, EVP, Commercial Strategy and International Development, will now be reporting to JoAnn Alfano. Under JoAnn’s direction, Enrique and his team will continue to focus on the international expansion and reach of USG’s formats and content pipeline. His responsibilities include setting the sales strategy for NBCU IP adaptations across the world and forming strategic partnerships to create new sources of global IP. Currently, the Formats Group is managing international versions of multiple projects including “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Superstore,” “Suits,” “Safe Harbour,” “Top Chef,” “SNL,” “Songland,” “Hollywood Game Night” and “The Real Housewives” franchise.
I am also pleased to announce that in addition to adding the International Formats Group to her purview, JoAnn Alfano is expanding her responsibilities to oversee Current Programming for both Universal Television and UCP. Her new title will be EVP, Scripted Current Series and Head of International Business Development, USG. JoAnn will report to me for Formats and International Business Development and to both Dawn Olmstead, President of UCP and the yet to be named President of Universal Television for Current Series.
While each studio will continue to have dedicated executives, this new structure will allow us to allocate resources as needed to handle the volume of our ever-increasing slate of current series more efficiently. It will also help us to further meet our USG goals of fostering cross-studio collaboration, leveraging shared resources, integrating talent and creating consistent business practices.
Prior to joining UTV, JoAnn was EVP, Scripted Programming for NBC International Studio; President, Brillstein Television; and Head of Programming for Lifetime Television. She has also held stints as the head of Comedy and Drama Development for NBC.
JoAnn is well respected across the industry and we are lucky to have someone who brings such a wealth of experience to this newly created role.
While we do see the opportunity in unifying our current teams, I believe that our development teams are a vital part of leveraging the individual brand identities of our two domestic studios. Therefore, we will continue to lean into the expertise of Erin Underhill, EVP, Drama Development and Jim Donnelly, EVP, Comedy Development who will report into the new President of UTV and UCP’s Scott Nemes, EVP, Development who will continue reporting to Dawn.
I hope that you will take a moment today to welcome Enrique and the Formats Group to USG, and to congratulate JoAnn. I look forward to working with each of them to drive success both in the individual studio businesses and as part of a collaborative USG family.
As our tagline says, “Watch what we can do together.”