NBCU Names Cable-Studio Management Team

Hammer sets up five-person management team to oversee recently formed Universal Cable Productions studio.
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NBC Universal Cable Entertainment and Universal Cable Productions president Bonnie Hammer set up a five-person management team to oversee the recently formed Universal Cable Productions studio.

The team, based in Los Angeles, will be made up of Mark Stern, co-head, original content; Jeff Wachtel, co-head, original content; Javier Maynulet, chief financial officer and head of operations; Beth Roberts, head of business affairs; and Jerry DiCanio, head of production. It will report directly to Hammer.

"It's been important to me to have as few layers as possible so that people who are involved and invested can get all of the right decisions made quickly, efficiently," Hammer said.

Hammer will also bring on a new development executive, as well as a business-development executive for the outfit.

The studio was set up to develop for the NBCU cable networks and ancillary media properties, but it will also develop for non-NBCU outlets. NBCU will have first right of refusal on projects.

A 360-degree, multiplatform development strategy is essential, Hammer said. The studio will evaluate and develop projects with an eye toward ancillary potential.

"When you're deciding whether you're going to go ahead with a show or not, it's not just about ratings anymore," she added. "It's not just about: Is it going to work on the air? It's about how [the show] is going to live the rest of its life. It's about whether it's going to work on DVD, whether it's going to work in the international [market]. Is there merchandising? So we've created this unit that will have a say in what we're going to do based on is it going to be a success on multipe platforms and is it going to create revenue?"

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