TV Network Groups Witness Big Management Changes: Coincidence Or Market Forces?

Four major TV network-based media companies have seen big changes atop their ranks when it comes to senior programming/creative executives. Coincidence? Or some underlying story going on here?

Showtime senior executive David Nevins was promoted to a new role, chief creative officer, CBS Corp. businesses -- on the heels of dramatic changes surrounding the departure of Les Moonves, CBS' longtime chairman/CEO.

Robert Greenblatt is departing his role as chairman of NBC Entertainment after a long reign and propelling NBC to No. 1 viewing status. Going out on top? Why not?

The big acquisition by Walt Disney of Fox TV and its movie assets has placed new programming/creative leadership in the hands of Peter Rice, as chairman of Walt Disney Television, and Dana Walden, chairman of Disney Television Studios and ABC Entertainment.

Lastly, Charlie Collier, president-general manager of AMC Networks, will become the new CEO, entertainment at Fox.



The sometimes rough transitioning of traditional TV networks to digital media platforms -- in particular, the overall shifting of viewing of live, linear TV programming to non-owned digital media -- may have something to do with this.

Acquisitions as well as consolidation may also contribute to the executive shuffle, especially at ABC, Fox and CBS.

NBC might be another matter. But it wouldn’t be wrong to consider that parent Comcast Corp., which already won the rights to buy up pay TV company Sky UK, could stir up more changes.

Consider Comcast’s 30% interest in Hulu. Thanks to Walt Disney’s deal for Fox businesses, which includes its 30% interest, Disney moves to a more commanding 60% ownership of the premium digital media platform. (WarnerMedia owns the other 10%.)

Analysts believe Comcast doesn’t see much value in owning a non-controlling interest in Hulu. Could it look to make bigger changes in the digital space?

While TV network executives will tell you viewing isn’t all that bad, when counting viewing from all platforms, a bigger, nagging issue remains:

How can it monetize all exposures from its original programming on other platforms? Lack of ubiquitous and easily accessible measurements could force traditional senior media executives to rethink the creative process.

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