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NBC Entertainment chief Ben Silverman is still the one

June 18, 2009 |  6:28 pm

A major milestone was reached this week in television.

The event passed quietly without an e-mail pronouncement from NBC Universal, which is really quite remarkable considering the company issues about 19 news releases a day. Silverman   

No, this time NBC, a.k.a. "America's News Leader," sat on the news. 

Ben Silverman marked two full years as co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios. He officially has entered the third year of his tenure with General Electric Co. 

Yet, there were no corporate PowerPoint presentations charting NBC ratings trajectories (down), studio revenue percentages (up), or even an amortization schedule for special effects in "My Own Worst Enemy" (don't ask). No parties with tigers. No new locker-room jam sessions led by Ben in a white towel singing the blues (at least no evidence has popped up on YouTube). 

And the word "awesome" didn't come up.

Remember last summer when speculation was rampant that NBC's controversial programming chief was on his way out? But Silverman figured he still had something to prove;he wants to lead an NBC prime-time turnaround. And NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker didn't want his aggressive move two years ago to shake up NBC by hiring Silverman to be labeled a mistake.

Earlier this year, Silverman and Zucker put the finishing touches on a contract extension that is expected to keep Silverman at NBC for another year.

In a statement, NBC said ""Ben Silverman remains a valuable asset to this company and provides fresh leadership and vision that will allow NBC Universal to achieve its long-range goals.  We also feel confident that as a creative force in our business model, Ben will take NBC Universal to the next level as we embrace the new challenges and opportunities."

-- Meg James


Photo: Dan Steinberg/AP