For Robert Greenblatt, it’s literally Showtime.
Vivi Zigler, who has run NBCUniversal’s digital operations for the last six years, and who has been with the TV company for 19 years, will depart.
As part of a re-alignment, Hayes will report to Len Fogge, NBC’s marketing and digital chief, who was also brought over from Showtime by Greenblatt (eight Showtime execs have now joined Greenblatt, in all). And digital operations will now be under Greenblatt’s purview, rather Ted Harbert, who as chairman of NBC broadcasting, oversees advertising sales and stations.
Hayes will oversee such properties as NBC.com, as well as the company’s digital marketing and social media strategies.
With NBC’s primetime television lineup only starting to wake up under Greenblatt from a decade-long buzzless drought, the move is seen by TV industry watchers as a means of making better use of its digital assets to help promote the regular TV schedule.
“It’s critical that we do everything possible to light up digital media in order to help rebuild the prime-time schedule,” Greenblatt said in a statement. “There’s no one better to lead this effort than Rob Hayes. I saw the effect he had at Showtime firsthand.”
As Greenblatt built Viacom-owned Showtime into serious pay-cable rival to Time Warner Inc.-owned HBO, Hayes was lynchpin in regard to digital strategy, developing online promotion and distribution for hit shows including Dexter, Weeds and The Tudors. He also structured licensing deals with online services including iTunes and Netflix.