Lauren Zalaznick is the latest top executive to leave NBCUniversal.
Zalaznick had been in charge of about half of NBCU’s cable channels and its Spanish-language media until February, when she was shifted to a new post developing digital initiatives. The cable networks business was consolidated under Bonnie Hammer, seen as a rival of Zalaznick.
“Those of you who know Lauren well know she is one of those rare executives that combine great creative instincts with a true business orientation," NBCU CEO Steve Burke said in an internal email. “Her contributions to our company have been significant and far-reaching, from cable entertainment to Spanish-language broadcast, from digital initiatives to new marketing campaigns. Lauren also has been an important champion for many of our company-wide initiatives.”
Burke said Zalaznick will remain at the company to transition her current portfolio, and would continue to consult with NBCUniversal on digital media content and technology marketplace trends.
Burke said that most of the executives working with Zalaznick would instead report to executive vice president Cesar Conde, who joined NBCU from Univision earlier this month. Executives responsible for consumer products and Fandango will report to Jeff Shell at the Universal studio. The integrated media group will report to ad sales president Linda Yaccarino.
In the last few weeks, NBCU has hired Conde, put former Comcast executive Shell in charge of the studio, gave former USA co-president Jeff Wachtel broader programming responsibilities, named Chris McCumber sole president of USA, and put Adam Stotsky, the head of the new Esquire Network, additionally in charge of G4. Former Oxygen president Jason Klarman is leaving the company and Salaam Coleman-Smith, president of Style Media is getting a new assignment after a last-minute decision to rebrand the Style network into Esquire.
Since joining NBCU, Burke has put new executives in charge of NBC Entertainment, NBC Sports, and NBC News and advertising sales.
Zalaznick joined NBC when it acquired Vivendi Universal Entertainment in 2004. She’d run Universal’s Trio cable network since 2002. She added responsibilities for cable networks Bravo and Oxygen before NBCU was acquired by Comcast.
When Burke became CEO of NBCU, he named Zalaznick chairman of Bravo Media, Oxygen Media, Style, Telemundo, Sprout and TV One, as well as digital properties including iVillage and Fandango. She also spearheaded cross platform initiatives, including Green is Universal, Woman at NBCU, Hispanics at NBCU and Healthy at NBCU.