NBC Ups Three, Makes Key Hire In Alternative & Reality GroupDecember 19, 2018
NBC’s Alternative and Reality Group is solidifying its exec leadership team with three promotions and a key new hire, all at the Executive Vice President level. The moves come on the heels of Meredith Ahr’s hire as President of the division. Jenny Groom will spearhead Alternative Programming and Development at the network while George Sealey will oversee Creative Affairs for projects ordered into production at Universal Television Alternative Studio. Enrique Guillen will continue to drive International Commercial Strategy as John Pollak fills a similar role domestically for both Universal Television Alternative Studio and the first-run syndication business.
“Jenny, Enrique and George have all helped to build this business and are major reasons for our current success at both the network and studio,” said Ahr. “They are some of the most experienced executives in the unscripted genre and our longstanding collaborative relationship will continue to yield phenomenal results as they take on these elevated roles. Jenny’s deep understanding of the NBC brand, coupled with her ability to cultivate talent and their ideas, enables her to harness the incredible power of the network’s marketing and programming platform to benefit any show, from any studio, that is a fit for NBC.”
“On the Universal Television Alternative Studio side, we believe the future will be built on partnerships and deep collaboration,” continued Ahr. “George and Enrique have helped guide this vision with best-in-class creative execution of our formats and steady growth with like-minded partners around the world. The arrival of a world-class executive such as John, who has a stellar reputation for innovative and creative dealmaking, sets us up for success in our ambitious plans to grow our business domestically as well.”
These appointments continue to solidify the Alternative and Reality Group leadership that also includes Linda Giambrone, Executive Vice President, Production; Monica Rodman, Senior Vice President, Development; Lee Straus, Executive Vice President, Business Affairs, Alternative & Specials Programming; and Tracie Wilson, Executive Vice President, Creative Affairs, NBCUniversal Domestic Distribution.
In her new post, Groom will serve as the head of the network’s alternative department, overseeing programming strategy, development and current series. A near-15-year NBCU vet, Groom recently helped develop NBC’s upcoming The Titan Games, with Dwayne Johnson, and America’s Got Talent: The Champions, as well as the upcoming songwriting competition format, Songland. Aside from spearheading and championing the development of new programming, Groom also oversees the robust portfolio of existing franchises, including America’s Got Talent, American Ninja Warrior, Ellen’s Game of Games and The Voice.
Guillen’s elevated post will see him continue to run international commercial strategy, expanding Universal Television Alternative Studio’s content pipeline and reach. Guillen spearheaded the international expansion of the Alternative Studio at its inception, starting with the global rollout of the award-winning hit game show The Wall, which he also developed and launched for NBC. Under his purview, the studio’s properties World of Dance, Hollywood Game Night and The Wall have been sold in over 45 countries. Guillen has also led a series of innovative content initiatives with overseas networks and producers, and has overseen merchandising, licensing and digital innovation for the studio brands. In his previous post as Senior Vice President of NBC Alternative Programming, Guillen oversaw the hit primetime shows The Celebrity Apprentice and Last Comic Standing, among others.
Sealey will lead the team that oversees the day-to-day creative development, production and post production for all greenlit series and pilots for Universal Television Alternative Studio, collaborating with producers and network executives on series creative, casting, budgets, post production and series launches In 2016, Sealey took on the role of Senior Vice President, Alternative Programming and Development and joined Ahr to help launch Universal Television Alternative Studio. Since then, he has managed and overseen the production and launch of several studio series, including World of Dance, Making It, The Titan Games, Better Late Than Never, Hollywood Game Night, Songland and several additional projects in early stages of pre-production.
Pollak will oversee and manage all aspects of domestic commercial dealings for NBC Entertainment’s unscripted programming, including sales strategy and creative partnerships with buyers beyond the NBC network, the packaging of talent and brands to formats, and the rollout of owned-and-controlled properties on behalf of NBCUniversal Television Distribution. He most recently served as President of Electus Television where he oversaw the global rollout of Electus’ television ambitions, managing the development team and working closely with the CEO to market, pitch, develop and produce original ideas from the Electus banner and other domestic and international producing partners.
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