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NBC Revamps Alternative; Ups Jenny Groom To Oversee Department

Deadline logo Deadline 3/27/2017 Denise Petski
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NBC has restructured its alternative department with the promotions of Jenny Groom, who will remain SVP, Alternative Programming and Development but will now oversee the department; Lesley Cerwin, who most recently oversaw publicity for NBC’s unscripted operations, to SVP, Current Programming; and Shelby Shaftel to VP, Alternative Programming and Development.

Groom succeeds Meredith Ahr who moved to the production side to launch and run Universal Television Alternative Studio.

The announcement was made by Paul Telegdy, President, Alternative and Reality Group, NBC Entertainment.

“Jenny Groom has emerged as the natural leader for the NBC alternative programming team. 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,” Telegdy said.

“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,” said Telegdy. “Shelby Shaftel has been integral to the success of The Voice since day one.”

In other recent executive moves in the alternative arena at NBC, Chuck LaBella has departed his post as  VP Talent Relations/ Alternative, Late Night and Specials.

In the network restructure, Groom takes over network responsibilities for all current programming and development, reporting to Telegdy. In her new role she will have oversight of the existing alternative slate, including The Voice, America’s Got Talent, American Ninja Warrior and Steve Harvey-hosted Little Big Shots, as well as creative oversight of upcoming projects including World of Dance, Ellen’s Game of Games and Little Big Shots: Forever Young.

In her previous role, Groom oversaw development for the network. She helped develop and launch last season’s #1 new alternative series, Little Big Shots; last summer’s #1 new series, Better Late Than Never; and the new hit game show from Universal Television Alternative Studio, The Wall. She will continue to be responsible for all of NBC’s alternative development.

In her new role as SVP, Current Programming, Cerwin and will have oversight of all current alternative programming. She will be responsible for maximizing the current programming slate via creative, marketing, sales, digital, social and publicity. Cerwin was recruited from her previous position of SVP in entertainment publicity where she handled press for Telegdy and Ahr. In this position she also oversaw all alternative programming press campaigns, playing an instrumental role in the success of NBC’s top programs, including The Voice, American Ninja Warrior, America’s Got Talent, Little Big Shots, The Wall and the Golden Globe Awards telecast. Cerwin is a veteran of NBC for 12 years and previously worked at Fox, The WB and Universal Television.

As VP in Alternative Programming and Development, Shaftel will take on more development and continue to have oversight of NBC’s The Voice, which she has worked on since the network premiered the show in 2011. In addition, she is currently overseeing the upcoming Ellen DeGeneres-produced dating show First Dates and the return of The Wall and Better Late Than Never.

Both Shaftel and Cerwin will report to Groom.

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