NBCU Taps Rovner As Entertainment Programming Chief: Report

Susan Rovner has been tapped for the job of chief of NBCUniversal’s entertainment programming, a “source close to the situation” confirmed to Variety.

On Monday, NBCU and Warner Bros. — where Rovner and Brett Paul have been serving as co-presidents of Warner Bros. TV since 2014 —declined to comment to the Los Angeles Times, which reported that a deal is expected to be announced as early as this week.

At NBCU, Rovner — a longtime Warner Bros. executive who reportedly negotiated an early exit from the studio to take the new job — will oversee programming for the Peacock streaming service, as well as the NBC broadcast network and cable channels including Bravo, E!, Syfy and USA, according to L.A. Times sources.

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Among the changes in the major NBCU reorganization announced by new CEO Jeff Shell in August was the exit of Entertainment Chairman Paul Telegedy and the promotion of Frances Berwick to head of that business unit. The company conspicuously did not name a head of entertainment programming at the time.

At Warner Bros, Rovner and Paul oversaw the launch of more than 60 original series and “were credited with helping spearhead the expansion of Warner Bros’ studio business into streaming and maintaining high-profile deals with such prominent producers as Chuck Lorre, Greg Berlanti, Ava DuVernay and Mindy Kaling,” reports The L.A. Times.

Rovner, who has held several executive roles since joining Warner Bros. in 1998, helped oversee the launch of hits including “Gossip Girl,” “The O.C.,” “Everwood,” “Rizzoli & Isles,” and HBO’s “Pretty Little Liars,” “Riverdale,” “Shameless” and “Westworld.”

Rovner reported to Peter Roth, the longtime Warner Bros. Television Group president and chief content officer who was named chairman of the group when his contract was extended in February. Many reportedly viewed Rovner as Roth’s likely eventual successor.

Last month, new WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar announced changes in senior management as part of a reorganization designed to shift strategic focus to HBO Max.

Senior executives Bob Greenblatt and Kevin Reilly were pushed out. Ann Sarnoff, CEO of Warner Bros., expanded her role under a new Studios and Networks Group, overseeing studios and programming across Warner Bros., HBO, HBO Max, TNT, TBS and TruTV. Casey Bloys, president of programming at HBO, added original programming responsibilities for HBO Max and linear networks TNT, TBS, and TruTV. 

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