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Monday, July 27, 2009

Ben Silverman Leaves NBC!



Ben Silverman, who had a stormy tenure as head of NBC's entertainment, is going to work for Barry Diller? Diller, a dark media overlord, is starting an "as-yet-unnamed multi-platform production company." Face-saving move or greater strategy at work? From the NyTimes:

"Ben Silverman, the co-chairman of NBC Universal Entertainment, is leaving the company to start up a new venture in partnership with Barry Diller’s media and Internet company, IAC.

"Ben Silverman, who came to NBC in 2007 after leading his own independent company, is leaving to start a new venture with IAC.
The news was announced by IAC and Mr. Silverman Monday morning. At the same time, NBC announced that Jeff Gaspin, who has headed NBCU’s cable operations, will also assume Mr. Silverman’s role as head of the entertainment division.

Mr. Silverman, who came to NBC in 2007 after leading his own independent company, called Reveille, will remain at NBC through September to support the transition to Mr. Gaspin, and to back the start of new fall television series for the NBC network. Chief among these, and a project Mr. Silverman has personally supported, is the move of the NBC late-night star Jay Leno to a five-night-a-week primetime show.

Mr. Silverman said in a telephone interview, 'I am invested in what happens in the fall, and they are invested in my helping with the transition.'

"The release also said that 'NBC Universal will continue to have a relationship with Mr. Silverman via the new venture through platform partnerships and a potential investment in the enterprise.'"


Silverman, who rose through the ranks as a reality television producer, did not mesh well with the more conservative culture of television executives. He was given the position at the ungodly age of 36. Silverman is famous for telling Esky: "'The industry hasn't seen an executive like me in a long time,' Silverman says. 'Traditionally, development executives rise through a specific subsection of the TV business -- prime time, network, scripted programming. They're basically D-girls,' he says, using the derogatory industry slang for cute young development execs with little power. 'That's what [ABC Entertainment president] Steve McPherson is, that's what [Fox Entertainment president] Kevin Reilly is. That's bad vernacular, but they're all D-girls.'"

What made the comment even more brutal is that Silverman replaced Kevin Reilly at NBC after Reilly had recruited the upstart producer from Reveille.

UPDATE: Gawker is reporting that of all people ryan Seacreast broke the story (on his radio show?), Tweeting, "guy that runs nbc- put office biggest looser etc on is leaving to launch a new studio. Bringing together most creative stars and producers .. This means better shows from our favorite stars in u.s. and around the world. Ben silverman just filling me in. This is big news in hwood .. I think this means household names our favorite stars will get involved. Putting. The power in ur hands to watch anything anywhere anytime."

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