Veteran NBCUniversal Cable executive Jeff Wachtel has been tapped as president of NBCUniversal International Studios, effective from January.
In the new role, Wachtel will work in close partnership with chief operating officer Sarah Cooper to focus on international and global productions. He will manage all aspects of television development, production, formats, and strategic content partnerships for NBCUniversal International Studios.
NBCUniversal International Studios’ production entities include NBC Universal International Productions, Carnival Films,Monkey Kingdom, Australia’s MatchboxPictures, WorkingTitle Television, and David Heyman’s Heyday TV. The division also owns an equity stake in Lark Productions in Canada and has a first look production deal with Hardy Son & Baker.
Wachtel will report into Kevin MacLellan, chairman of global distribution & international, and be located in Los Angeles before moving to London in summer 2018.
“The ability to produce for a local and a global audience is key to the future success of any major production company. Jeff is one of the few creative executives in the business who has proven time and again that he can deliver shows that work on both planes,” said MacLellan in a statement. “Working with him closely over the years, my team and I have always found him to be incredibly collaborative and sensitive to what works best for our international audiences.”
Wachtel’s hiring fills the void left by Michael Edelstein‘s impending departure, which is slated to come by year’s end after seven years in the role.
The exec has served as chief content officer for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment since 2013 and has been responsible for the development and production of content for the company’s cable portfolio, including Bravo, E!, Oxygen, SYFY and USA Network .
In addition, Wachtel is president of the non-scripted prodco Wilshire Studios and the scripted-focused Universal Cable Productions where he has spearheaded efforts to create and own original content.
Previously, Wachtel joined USA Network in 2001 as executive VP of series and longform programming before rising through the ranks to become president of original programming and then co-president of the channel.
Prior to this, he was EVP of programming at Columbia Pictures Television.