Lauren Zalaznick -- one of NBCUniversal's most high-profile programming executives who put the cable channel Bravo on the cultural map a decade ago -- is leaving the media company.
The move comes as NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke continues to put his own stamp on the company by hiring new executives and pushing aside some of the last vestiges of the General Electric Co. management team.
Burke announced the upcoming departure of Zalaznick -- who began her career as an independent film producer and has worked at NBCUniversal for 12 years -- on Friday in an email to the company's staff.
Zalaznick is expected to stay on during a transition period, and then serve as a consultant, Burke said.
"Those of you who know Lauren well know she is one of those rare executives that combine great creative instincts with a true business orientation," Burke wrote.
"Her contributions to our company have been significant and far-reaching, from cable entertainment to Spanish-language broadcast, from digital initiatives to new marketing campaigns," Burke said.
In February, Zalaznick lost a long-running competition with Bonnie Hammer when Burke tapped Hammer to lead the NBCUniversal cable programming group, which includes USA Network, Syfy, Bravo, E! and Oxygen. For more than two years, Zalaznick and Hammer each had a collection of cable channels to call her own.
At the time, Burke shuffled Zalaznick -- who has been fascinated by digital media -- into a senior advisory position, saying Zalaznick would help him scout the increasingly complicated world of technology and investigated emerging trends. That move considerably diminished Zalaznick's influence.
Then, earlier this month, Burke hired former Univision Networks President Cesar Conde, who will take over much of Zalaznick's responsibilities.
"Moving forward, most of Lauren’s current group including Lori Conkling, Tony Cardinale, Nick Lehman and Lenore Moritz will report to Cesar Conde," Burke wrote.
Russell Hampton, who works in consumer products, and Paul Yanover, who leads the online movie ticketing service Fandango, will report to Jeff Shell, who is taking over the Universal Pictures group.
Earlier this month, Burke installed Jeff Shell, a trusted Comcast executive, as top business executive at Universal Pictures. As part of the move, Adam Fogelson, the film chairman, was forced to resign.
Zalaznick joined NBCU after the company acquired the artsy cable network Trio that she had been running. Prior to that, Zalaznick spent several years at Viacom's VH1. She started her career in independent films and was a producer of the controversial and award-winning movie "Kids."
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