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NBCU Cable taps ABC's Kennedy to head research

NBC has again made an executive raid on ABC.

Charles Kennedy, a senior vice president of research at ABC, is joining the NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group as its executive vice president of research and insights.

In that position, Kennedy will oversee all ratings research spin for NBCU's cable networks including USA and Bravo. The role of reseachers has become key in the television industry as more viewers consume content on multiple platforms and networks try to better monetize that audience.

Kennedy will report to Bonnie Hammer, chairman of NBCU Cable Entertainment, who said the researcher's "keen insights, opinions and feedback are invaluable assets to our future growth."

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NBCUniversal also said Liz Mahaffey, who had held Kennedy title's, will now become executive vice president of brand strategy for the group.

The hiring of Kennedy marks the third time in the past year that a top executive left Walt Disney Co.'s ABC for NBC. Last summer, NBC hired ABC's two top scheduling executives -- Jeff Bader and Steve Kern -- to oversee program planning.

ABC said Paul Pastor, vice president of strategy for Disney Channels Worldwide, would become senior vice president of strategy and consumer analytics for the Disney/ABC Television Group, essentially filling Kennedy's role.

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