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NBC Promotes Jenny Groom, Lesley Cerwin, Shelby Shaftel in Alternative-Programming Shuffle

Variety logo Variety 3/27/2017 Daniel Holloway
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NBC has promoted three unscripted executives in a reorganization of its alternative-programming department.

Senior vice president of alternative programming and development Jenny Groom will take over as department head, reporting to Paul Telegdy, president of NBC Entertainment’s alternative and reality group. Lesley Cerwin, who had led publicity for the department, has been named senior vice president, current programming. And Shelby Shaftel has been promoted to vice president of programming and development.

Groom takes over the role that was made vacant last year when Meredith Ahr was named president of Universal Television Alternative Studio, a new NBC unscripted-production unit and part of Telegdy’s portfolio. She adds oversight of current programming to her role as development chief. Among the series she developed since joining NBC are “Little Big Shots” and “The Wall.”

“Jenny Groom has emerged as the natural leader for the NBC alternative programming team,” Telegdy said. “Her creativity and understanding of NBC’s audience have been honed over a 14-year career, starting as a page and have included time spent with NBC’s drama department and Universal Television. She has been a huge part of the success we have enjoyed at NBC, having headed up development for nearly five years and now adds the management of the wider department to her duties.”

In the new structure, Cerwin and Shaftel will report to Groom. Cerwin, who will manage current programming for the alternative department, previously served as senior vice president in entertainment publicity, where she led communications for Telegdy and Ahr and oversaw press campaigns for the network’s reality series. She is a 12-year NBC veteran, with previous stops at Fox, The WB, and Universal Television.

“Lesley Cerwin joins us after eight years leading the alternative communications team and has been a trusted and integral part of our success on both the network side and in launching our new studio,” Telegdy said. “Lesley, who combines her vast experience and passion for alternative programming with strategic expertise, will take responsibility for maximizing the franchise value of our current portfolio.”

In her new role, Shaftel will add development responsibilities to her duties overseeing several current series including “The Voice.”

“Shelby Shaftel has been integral to the success of ‘The Voice’ since day one,” Telegdy said. “We look forward to Shelby applying the best practices of that massive hit to our wider development and portfolio.”

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