By Peter White
EXCLUSIVE: NBCUniversal is making some changes at E!.
Deadline understands that the cable network is restructuring, canceling shows such as Daily Pop and Nightly Pop, leading to the departure of production staff of those shows.
The news is being communicated to staff Friday morning by Tracie Wilson, EVP Of Syndication Studios and E! News at NBCUniversal, who reports to NBCU’s Susan Rovner, at a town hall.
“I know change can be challenging, but I am truly excited about the future of these brands that we are going to build together,” said Wilson in a note to staff (read it in full below).
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Daytime talk show Daily Pop has run since May 2017, while late-night talker Nightly Pop has aired since October 2018. The latter is hosted by Morgan Stewart, Nina Parker and Hunter March.
Daily Pop will end in mid-September and Nightly Pop in early October.
The move will pave the way for a new show that will launch on the linear network, airing nightly in late October.
“I want to say a huge thank you to the Daily Pop and Nightly Pop teams for their creativity and commitment, including working countless hours to keep these shows up and running through the pandemic,” said Wilson.
As part of the restructure, the company is also creating a “centralized” umbrella brand, Terrace Studios, that will incorporate the Access and E! News brands, bringing together units such as stage, production management, and hair and makeup.
This has led to a restructure of its leadership team. Tammy Filler, who is EVP and Editor-in-Chief overseeing the digital E! News organization and digital originals, will remain in her role and will have three direct reports: Jen Lavin will lead creative and Jamie Blynn will oversee E! online editorial, while it is searching for someone to oversee digital strategy.
Ed Zarcoff will oversee the production side of the business as SVP, News Operations reporting directly to Wilson. Vinnie Fusco and Kristin Killackey will continue to run all first-run production operations.
Here’s the memo:
Over the past six months I’ve been digging deep into the E! News business. As we shared in February, our goal is to create a center of excellence for entertainment news at NBCU, and I want to start by acknowledging and thanking all of you who are already working day in and day out to help make that happen.
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When initially we spoke, we promised to reconnect as soon as we had a better idea of the new organizational structure, and we wanted to share some of that with you today.
We are creating a centralized “Terrace Studios” umbrella, sharing critical support functions across the Access and E! News brands such as stage, production management, hair and makeup, etc. This will enable us to work smarter and stronger, maximizing existing expertise while freeing up resources to compete on a larger scale. It’s a natural fit for these two amazing brands to join forces. Access has reestablished itself as THE home of entertainment news on broadcast, and E! News remains one of the most iconic multi-platform brands in the industry.
One of our top priorities is to solidify E!’s role in entertainment news well into the future, and on that note, we are restructuring the leadership team to better help us achieve that goal.
Our digital footprint continues to be one of the brand’s strongest assets, and Tammy Filler – who has done a phenomenal job growing engagement over the past few years – will remain in her role as EVP and Editor-in-Chief overseeing the digital E! News organization and developing a robust slate of digital originals. Tammy will have three direct reports whose teams will help grow and shape the brand moving forward; Jen Lavin will lead creative, Jamie Blynn will oversee E! online editorial, and we are actively searching for someone to oversee digital strategy. I truly believe each of these executives is incredible at what they do, and that this new structure will set this team up for success moving forward.
In addition, we are extending our ‘center of excellence’ concept to the production side of the business. Ed Zarcoff will lead this group as SVP, News Operations reporting directly into me; he will partner closely with Vinnie Fusco and Kristin Killackey who will continue to run all first-run production operations. Ed will remain responsible for digital production management as well as take on the following teams: news operations, photo and booking. Ed’s institutional knowledge coupled with his past newsroom experience make him a natural fit for this expanded role, and I’m confident this change will streamline and strengthen our production process.
Finally, as we continue to focus on the future of E! and its news offerings, we are going to be launching a new show on the linear network that will air nightly beginning in late October. We will be announcing more details in the coming weeks, but our vision for the linear show is to return to the roots of the E! News brand as the gold standard of entertainment news coverage. As we continue to move the brand in this direction, Daily Pop will end its run in mid-September and Nightly Pop will conclude in early October, paving the way for us to focus audiences on our new show. I want to say a huge thank you to the Daily Pop and Nightly Pop teams for their creativity and commitment, including working countless hours to keep these shows up and running through the pandemic.
I know change can be challenging, but I am truly excited about the future of these brands that we are going to build together. In the next few minutes, you’ll see a meeting invite pop on your calendar for a virtual Town Hall at 10:15 am PT / 1:15 pm ET so we can connect and walk through these changes together.
I appreciate your dedication, flexibility and support as we continue work through this process. Looking forward to “seeing” you soon.
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