People/Biz

Intl’ formats folded into Universal Studio Group, JoAnn Alfano to oversee division

NBCUniversal’s International Formats Group is being folded into Universal Studio Group (USG), with JoAnn Alfano overseeing the business. In a memo to staff, recently installed USG chairman Pearlena Igbokwe announced Alfano (pictured) ...
October 28, 2020

NBCUniversal’s International Formats Group is being folded into Universal Studio Group (USG), with JoAnn Alfano overseeing the business.

In a memo to staff, recently installed USG chairman Pearlena Igbokwe announced Alfano (pictured) would also be expanding her responsibilities to oversee current programming for both Universal Television (UTV) and Universal Content Productions (UCP) as EVP, scripted current series and head of international business development.

Enrique Guillen, EVP of commercial strategy and international development, will now report to Alfano.

Alfano will report to Igbokwe for formats and international business development and to both Dawn Olmstead, president of UCP and the yet to be named president of Universal Television for current series.

Under her direction, Guillen and his team will continue to focus on the international expansion and reach of USG’s formats and content pipeline. His responsibilities include setting the sales strategy for NBCU IP adaptations across the world and forming strategic partnerships to create new sources of global IP.

Currently, the Formats Group is managing international versions of multiple projects including Top Chef, Hollywood Game Night, The Real Housewives franchise and Songland.

“While each studio will continue to have dedicated executives, this new structure will allow us to allocate resources as needed to handle the volume of our ever-increasing slate of current series more efficiently. It will also help us to further meet our USG goals of fostering cross-studio collaboration, leveraging shared resources, integrating talent and creating consistent business practices,” Igbokwe wrote in the memo.

Prior to joining UTV, Alfano was EVP, scripted programming for NBC International Studio; president, Brillstein Television; and head of programming for Lifetime Television.

NBCUniversal most recently streamlined its unscripted ranks following the departure of alternative programming chief Meredith Ahr.

The company moved in-house production and development arm, Universal Television Alternative Studio (UTAS), under the Universal Studio Group (USG) banner.

USG also houses Universal Television, UCP and NBCUniversal International Studios.

With files from Barry Walsh

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