NBC Entertainment Chief Bob Greenblatt Leaving After Eight Years

(Bloomberg) -- NBC executive Bob Greenblatt, who led the network’s entertainment programming to the top of the ratings for the first time in almost two decades, is handing the job to a pair of his lieutenants.

Greenblatt, who is stepping down after almost eight years on the job, will be succeeded by George Cheeks and Paul Telegdy. They were named co-chairmen of NBC Entertainment, according to a statement from Steve Burke, chief executive officer of Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal. They’ll oversee the network and its production studios.

Under Greenblatt, 58, NBC rose from last in the audience ratings to first place, toppling CBS from that pinnacle in the past year. With shows such as “This Is Us,” “The Voice” and “The Blacklist,” he also took the network to No. 1 in the 18-to-49-year-old age group that advertisers target.

Stepping down now allows Greenblatt to leave NBC on a high note. Without the Olympics or the Super Bowl, the network will have a harder time keeping its No. 1 rank in coming years.

“Since NBC is back on track and has achieved such great success, I think it’s time for me to turn to a new challenge,” he said in a memo to staff.

One of Greenblatt’s biggest innovations was reviving live prime-time programming with musicals. His production of “The Sound of Music” in 2013 was seen in 22 million homes, NBC said.

Telegdy has helped develop some of NBC’s biggest shows in unscripted television and is credited with turning “The Voice” into a big hit for the network. Cheeks, meanwhile, led business operations for NBC. He was co-president of Universal Cable Productions and Wilshire Studios and president of late-night programming.

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