NBCU Digital Exec Lauren Zalaznick Is Leaving the Company

/ Sep 27, 2013

laurenzalaznick

Lauren Zalaznick, an executive vice president at NBCUniversal and arguably one of the most savviest digital-minded execs working at a traditional media company, is leaving that company after 12 years working in various executive capacities.

Though that doesn’t mean Zalaznick is completely severing ties with NBCUniversal. In a staff memo sent out earlier today, NBCU CEO Steve Burke said: “Lauren will remain at the company to transition her current portfolio, and then consult with NBCUniversal on digital media content and technology marketplace trends.”

Under Zalaznick, NBCUniversal was possibly one of the most digitally-focused traditional media companies. It participated in the inaugural Newfronts in 2012, and followed that up with a Newfront-like event a week prior to the official, IAB-sanctioned Newfront week.

Though a lot of NBCU’s digital video offerings revolved around amplifying TV or providing brands with different types of integrations across TV and digital, the company has been no stranger to native online video. Zalaznick brought Bravo to prominence with shows like “Real Housewives,” “Watch What Happens Live,” and “Top Chef.” And in the past few years, Bravo has successfully ventured into original online programming, having just won a Creative Arts Emmy for its companion web series “Last Chance Kitchen.”

Zalaznick also oversaw Fandango, which in the past year has moved from being primarily a movie-ticketing service to a media business, which includes a series of original online shows starring the likes of veteran film critic Dave Karger.

What’s more, Zalaznick was also at VidCon this year, though from what I hear that had almost everything to do with how much her daughter is in love with some of the YouTube stars. Nick Lehman, Andy Cohen, and some other NBCU execs were there as well, and NBC’s new fall drama, “The Blacklist,” was one of the sponsors for the three-day conference-expo-extravaganza.

This is all to say, Zalaznick may be out at NBCUniversal, but it seems both the company and are going to continue being relevant within this emerging industry for quite some time.

Here is a transcript of Burke’s memo if you want to read it:

I am writing to let you know that Lauren Zalaznick will be leaving NBCUniversal after 12 successful years working in a variety of leadership roles here.

Those of you who know Lauren well know she is one of those rare executives that combine great creative instincts with a true business orientation. Her contributions to our company have been significant and far-reaching, from cable entertainment to Spanish-language broadcast, from digital initiatives to new marketing campaigns. Lauren also has been an important champion for many of our company-wide initiatives.

Moving forward, most of Lauren’s current group including Lori Conkling, Tony Cardinale, Nick Lehman and Lenore Moritz will report to Cesar Conde. Russell Hampton (Consumer Products) and Paul Yanover (Fandango) will report to Jeff Shell. John Shea and the Integrated Media group will report solely to Linda Yaccarino.

Lauren will remain at the company to transition her current portfolio, and then consult with NBCUniversal on digital media content and technology marketplace trends.

I want to thank Lauren for her years of service. Her drive to innovate, her energy and her intelligence have made our company a better place. She has been an important member of our team and we wish her well in the future.

Steve

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