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NBCUniversal Changes Leadership at Its Streaming Service, Peacock


Less than a month ago, NBCUniversal announced that it would enter the streaming wars with a new service named after its colorful NBC logo-slash-mascot.

The service, called Peacock, will make its mark in April in the streaming-video realm with some 15,000 hours of content. The service was being developed under the leadership of its chairwoman, Bonnie Hammer, who had previously served as the head of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, where she oversaw NBC’s cable channels.

Cut to the present. Ms. Hammer is no longer the head of Peacock. In her place, NBCUniversal has installed Matt Strauss, a longtime executive from NBCUniversal’s parent company, the telecommunications giant Comcast. Mr. Strauss was most recently the executive vice president of Comcast Cable’s digital arm, XFINITY Services. As part of the shake-up, Ms. Hammer has been named the head of NBCUniversal Content Studios, a newly created part of the company.

Ms. Hammer and Mr. Strauss will report to Stephen B. Burke, the chief executive of NBCUniversal.

“Bonnie’s great taste, deep Hollywood relationships, and strong track record of generating popular and award-winning programming make her ideally suited to oversee this new division,” Mr. Burke said in a statement on Monday.

On the addition of Mr. Strauss, Mr. Burke added, “He has great experience with video, digital technology, and streaming and is the right person for the role at this juncture.”

When Peacock makes its debut in April, it will join the growing list of new streaming services, including Apple TV Plus (Nov. 1), Disney Plus (Nov. 12) and HBO Max, which is also to start in April. These platforms will enter an increasingly competitive arena that already includes the established services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime.

Peacock intends to draw from its vast library, streaming complete seasons of “Parks and Recreation,” “Cheers,” “Downton Abbey,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Friday Night Lights” and “Frasier.” In June, NBCUniversal regained the rights to “The Office,” which has had a successful afterlife streaming on Netflix. The show will become available on Peacock in 2021.


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