People/Biz

WBTV’s Susan Rovner set to board NBCU as entertainment head: reports

NBCUniversal has reportedly tapped longtime Warner Bros. Television executive Susan Rovner as head of its entertainment programming division. According to U.S. trades, Rovner (pictured), upon making the move, will be responsible for ...
September 8, 2020

NBCUniversal has reportedly tapped longtime Warner Bros. Television executive Susan Rovner as head of its entertainment programming division.

According to U.S. trades, Rovner (pictured), upon making the move, will be responsible for scripted, unscripted, late-night and alternative programming for NBC, NBCU cable networks and Peacock.

The news comes a month after CEO Jeff Shell reorganized NBCUniversal’s television and streaming division — led by Mark Lazarus — in a shuffle that saw NBC Entertainment chairman Paul Telegdy depart.

As part of that restructuring, Frances Berwick – then president of lifestyle networks — was elevated to lead the company’s entertainment unit.

WarnerMedia has also restructured its executive ranks in recent weeks, including the consolidation of Warner Bros. Television Group scripted and unscripted operations. In August, WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar announced a number of changes to the company’s topline structure as part of an effort to elevate HBO Max in the organization and expand its scope globally.

The realignment saw the exit of such executives as WarnerMedia Entertainment and direct-to-consumer chairman Bob Greenblatt and HBO Max chief content officer Kevin Reilly.

Rovner was named president of WBTV — a division under WBTVG that produces scripted dramatic primetime TV — in May 2019, serving alongside fellow WBTV president Brett A. Paul.

Both executives also serve as president of Warner Horizon Scripted Television, WBTVG’s division for original scripted programming for cable.

Reporting to WBTVG chairman Peter Roth, Rovner has worked at WBTV for more than 20 years.

She previously served as EVP of development at WBTV since March 2010, and had been co-president of Warner Horizon Scripted Television since March 2014. Before that, she was WBTV’s SVP of drama development

Rovner joined WBTV in 1998 as director of drama development, and was subsequently promoted to VP of drama development in 2001.

When contacted by Realscreen, NBCUniversal had not commented on the reports by press time.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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