Exit Stage Right: NBC Head Ben Silverman to leave network

July 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Prime Time

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ben-silverman-1207-2-lgBrash, non-conventional Ben Silverman is stepping down as co-chairman of NBC Entertainment/Universal Media Studios after a little over two years on the job to pursue another venture (and because his reign hasn’t been a great one, to be honest).

Silverman will stay in place for several weeks to help shuffle off NBC’s fall schedule, the network said in a news release. Jeff Gaspin, president and CEO of the NBC Universal Television sector, has been promoted to chairman.

As one of the founders of the Reveille production company, Silverman exec-produced such hits as The Office, Ugly Betty and The Biggest Loser, and helped to save the accaimed critically but ratings-challenged Friday Night Lights from being cancelled.

Huge ratings numbers eluded Silverman during his tenure, however. How’s this for a distinctive mark: 20 of the 25 shows that started while he was in office have now been cancelled; Chuck, Southland and Parks and Recreation are all that remain.

Now for the real reason for his leaving: Silverman will form a new media company with Barry Diller, one of Reveille’s first investors, it turns out. The unnamed business will invite develop special content for TV, the Internet and other mediums with upfront interaction with advertisers to make it worth their investment as well being quality for audiences.