Jeff Gaspin just took another big leap at NBC Universal (NYSE: GE) with his promotion — effective immediately — as the new chairman of NBCU Television Entertainment. Gaspin already heads the company’s cable networks and its distribution. This adds NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios to his portfolio. The announcement came at the same time as news that Ben Silverman, who has been co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios with Marc Graboff, is leaving to join Barry Diller at IAC (NSDQ: IACI) (NBC calls it returning to his “entrepreneurial roots”). Graboff stays on as chairman but will be reporting to Gaspin. He, of course, reports to NBCU CEO Jeff Zucker.
With Gaspin, NBCU has someone in charge of programming and distribution who has been through the broadband immersion course. I can’t say uncategorically that’s a first but he has considerably more background and responsibility for multi-platform programming — and for the distribution strategy across those platforms — than his predecessors.