Silverman leaving NBCU, teaming with Diller


Ben Silverman is leaving NBC Universal in a few weeks, ending his Co-Chairmanship of NBC Universal Entertainment and Universal Media Studios with Marc Graboff, who now has sole possession of the title. Meanwhile, though, Jeff Gaspin has been named Chairman, NBC Universal Television Entertainment, expanding his role. Graboff will report to him. Silverman will form a new venture with Barry Diller’s IAC to produce content for a variety of platforms, with NBC to have “a relationship” with the new enterprise.

IAC and Silverman say their yet-to-be-named company “will be the industry’s first global platform that connects advertisers, distributors and content creators early on in the development process, enabling advertisers to be a partner in campaigns and content creation.” Silverman is apparently ending his brief career at the Peacock Net on good terms, with the announcement of his new venture saying that “NBC Universal will continue to have a relationship with Mr. Silverman via the new venture through platform partnerships and a potential investment in the enterprise.”

“This new venture will take full advantage of all areas of Ben Silverman’s extensive media expertise – as an agent, producer and advertising innovator – to create a truly integrated and truly interactive new media production entity, a next generation enterprise that bridges the gap between traditional television and the internet,” said Barry Diller, IAC Chairman & CEO.

The new company says it “will aim to go further than the industry has gone before,” by bringing marketing and advertising expertise in-house to help advertisers sponsor, support and be involved with the content creation process from the beginning.

“Media is being consumed across an increasing number of platforms, including TV, the internet, mobile, and DVR. The next generation of media will be defined by the players who can capitalize on those trends and deliver integrated, compelling content across all platforms. Uniting advertisers and content creators will fundamentally improve quality and enable a fluid production and distribution model,” said Silverman.

Meanwhile, back at NBCU, Jeff Gaspin has been named Chairman, NBC Universal Television Entertainment, effective immediately. His role is now expanded to include oversight of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, in addition to his current management responsibility for the company’s portfolio of entertainment cable networks, including USA, SyFy, Bravo, Oxygen, Universal HD, Sleuth, and Chiller, as well as its interests in the A&E and History networks. In addition, Gaspin now oversees the company’s television distribution, including linear, digital and wireless, off-net syndication and first-run efforts, as well as the Telemundo broadcast network and its owned stations. “This new structure will consolidate all of the company’s television entertainment assets, both broadcast and cable, English and Spanish, under one roof and will better allow the company to leverage its content across all of those properties,” NBCU said.

“Jeff Gaspin is an extraordinary media professional who has had an incredible record of success in his 25 years in the business. He’s a strong creative executive who also has the business acumen necessary to succeed in today’s media environment. This new structure helps us align all of our television entertainment assets under one veteran executive at a time when continued innovation is essential,” said NBC Universal President and CEO Jeff Zucker.

Marc Graboff and Ben Silverman had been Co-Chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, since 2007, with both reporting directly to Zucker. Graboff will continue as the sole Chairman, but now report to Gaspin.