The last top player from the Jeff Zucker regime at NBC is gone. Marc Graboff, a 11-year NBC veteran, will be leaving the network. NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt broke the news to his staff in an email (below). The likable Graboff had been steadily rising in the ranks at NBC, starting off as head of business affairs and ultimately becoming chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios following the exit of Ben Silverman. But he had started to feel like the odd man out under the new network regime. Even his title was overlapping with that of NBC’s new chief, Bob Greenblatt, who is chairman of NBC Entertainment, overseeing the network and studio Universal TV. When, with Comcast’s blessing, Graboff was signed into a new 3-year contract in the summer of 2010, it was a signal that the new owners were relying on Graboff’s deep institutional knowledge of NBC as he has been involved in all big network decisions during the past decade and has been the deal-maker leading all major negotiations. (As such, he also knows where all the bodies are buried, many noted.) Graboff also was tasked with guiding two NBC toppers who were parachuted in with no executive experience, Zucker and Silverman. No timeline for Graboff’s exit has been set.
Lest the rumor mill get ahead of us, I wanted to let everyone know that Marc Graboff has decided to leave NBC after a long tenure in order to pursue a new chapter in his career. While I personally would have loved him to stay with us for this new phase of NBC, I know first-hand that feeling when it’s time to make a change in one’s career. We haven’t quite figured out the time table for his exit nor is there yet a plan to replace him but I wanted you to know that this is on the horizon and imminent. We have a great business operations team in place so I don’t anticipate missing a beat during this time, but I think it’s safe to say that Marc will be missed by a lot of people here. He’s been a fixture here during all the management and ownership changes during the past ten years and judging by his professionalism and his demeanor I’m sure he’s a friend to many of you as well. He was enormously helpful to me over the past eleven months and I want to publicly thank him for that. If anyone knows a way to get him to change his mind, let me know. In the meantime, please join me in thanking Marc and wishing him the very best as he moves onto this new journey in the new year!