NBC U solved at least some of the mystery of its acquisition of NYC-based Oxygen. Namely, who would run it.
The two candidates were Lauren Zalaznick, president of Bravo, and Bonnie Hammer, president of USA Network and Sci Fi. Zalaznick won, in part because the fem-skewing Bravo is a good match for Oxygen, and in part because Hammer already controls two networks (NBC’s cable portfolio now accounts for 50% of NBC U’s profits, so president Jeff Zucker has to keep both women happy).
In addition to the network, Zalaznick also got oversight of Oxygen’s digital business (in addition to the TV blog Television Without Pity). This raises further questions about what, outside of iVillage, Beth Comstock is responsible for these days. Comstock is repeatedly rumoured to be headed back to GE corporate, but in the meantime at least nominally oversees NBC U’s ad sales operation–network, cable and digital.
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