Universal Television is back with new team
Time to get new business cards ... again.
NBC Entertainment is going back to its roots and changing the name of its television production unit from Universal Media Studios to Universal Television, which was the original name when the company was founded in 1951. Over the last several years, the company has gone through numerous name changes reflecting new owners or new strategies.
The move is part of NBC's new parent company Comcast Corp.'s plans to give Universal Television a bigger presence. It was once seen primarily as an in-house producer for NBC, but now there is a push to sell shows to other networks that are not owned by NBC or Comcast.
"The name change to Universal Television harkens back to a company that was once a juggernaut of the business and will serve to reinforce to the creative community our stated goal of producing quality television,” said NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt.
Greenblatt is also installing a new leadership team at the studio. Last month, he tapped Bela Bajaria, a senior executive at CBS, as executive vice president of the television production unit.
Joining the studio to oversee comedy efforts is Tracey Pakosta, who most recently had worked at Green Mountain West, which is the production company for CBS late night host Craig Ferguson. Also being added to run casting for the studio is Beth Klein, who had been at the pay cable channel Showtime, from which Greenblatt was recruited.
On the drama front, Russell Rothberg will serve as senior vice president, a title he held at NBC and Universal Media Studios. Erin Underhill, who had been senior vice presdient of current programming for NBC and Universal Media Studios, will remain a senior vice president of drama and report to Rothberg.
-- Joe Flint
Photo: NBC building, left, and Bela Bajaria. Credit: Associated Press and NBC Entertainment.