NBCUniversal is making some significant changes to its leadership structure and that includes giving Mark Lazarus oversight of Peacock, the company’s new ad-supported streaming service.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Lazarus, who runs the NBC Sports Group and NBC’s local TV stations, will now also run the company's entertainment businesses including Peacock. He’ll be chairman a new NBCUniversal business unit that includes NBC’s cable channels.
“This is the right structure to lead NBCUniversal into the future during this transformational time in the industry,” said NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell in a statement. “Mark has a proven track record across every aspect of our television business from sports to local stations to entertainment. He is the ideal leader to oversee our television and streaming portfolio in this newly formed division, which allows us to have a more unified approach to our content strategy.”
The shift in leadership at Peacock comes about three weeks after the service soft-launched for Comcast’s Xfinity X1 and Flex subscribers. It also comes about seven months after Matt Strauss was given the reins at Peacock. According to the report, Strauss will still serve at chairman at Peacock and report to Lazarus. According to The Wrap, Strauss will continue to lead day-to-day operations at Peacock as general manager.
On July 15, Peacock will launch nationwide on multiple platforms. The company said that with so many Americans stuck at home because of the virus, Comcast is evaluating an earlier launch date for Peacock, but for now July is still the target.
Peacock Premium will be included free for X1 and Flex customers and it will cost $4.99 per month (or $9.99/month without ads) for everyone else when it launches on July 15. There will also be a free, ad-supported tier of Peacock featuring about half the content.
NBCU today also said that Telemundo chief Cesar Conde will now oversee NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC as chairman of NBCUniversal News Group. He’s taking over for Andy Lack, who’s leaving NBCUniversal at the end of the month.