The Peacock Shuffle
As NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution settles into its new management structure, executive shifts continue. Linda Finnell is taking charge of programming, and Sean O'Boyle will oversee all first-run domestic sales. Arthur Hasson, executive vice president of sales under former Universal Domestic Television President Steve Rosenberg, will handle off-net and cable sales, as well as sales in Canada. John Hookstratten becomes executive vice president of business operations, No. 2 to new division President Barry Wallach. Hookstratten remains in Burbank, Calif.; Wallach will work out of New York. Departing the organization is Lisa Hackner, who ran Universal's programming division. Insiders say she is likely to return to Warner Bros.' Telepictures unit, where she worked before joining Universal.
NBC Universal's Starting Over
keeps things fresh in summer by bringing back former cast members for 14 weeks of new episodes. They'll update audiences on what's happening in their lives, respond to viewer questions, and set the record straight about what went on while they were living there. Starting Over's second season starts Sept. 13. The show is currently casting. It's produced by Bunim-Murray Productions, executive-produced by Jonathan Murray and Millee Taggart.
Byron Allen's Entertainment Studios has promoted Jeryl Reitzel to executive vice president of domestic television distribution. Reitzel had been vice president of Northeast sales and marketing. Reitzel will share duties with Andrew Temple. Both will report to Stu Stringfellow, president of Entertainment Studios.
In related news, the syndicator has sold two-hour music special Feel the Beat—featuring such stars as P. Diddy, Beyoncé, and Usher—in 87% of the U.S. It's cleared in the top five markets. Stations can air the special from now through July 4.