WBTV’s Susan Rovner Nears Deal To Join NBCUniversal In Top TV Programming Role

Warner Bros. Television veteran Susan Rovner‘s long rumored move to NBCUniversal is close to completion.

WBTV President Rovner is said to be finalizing her exit from the studio and in advanced negotiations for the NBCU top entertainment programming job in the new NBCU structure announced last month. She gradually emerged as the leading candidate for the post over the past couple of weeks and engaged in exit conversations with Warner Bros. about 10 days ago.

Those talks weren’t easy — Rovner had a little over a year into her current contract and had been factoring heavily in the studio’s plans for the future as the heir apparent to Peter Roth, Warner Bros. TV Group President and Chief Content Officer, who has been tipped to succeed him when he is expected to retire at the end of his current contract in late 2021. Rovner leaving creates a gaping hole in those succession plans.

NBCUniversal had been aggressively pursuing Rovner for the job — overseeing all original entertainment programming for NBC, the cable entertainment networks and Peacock and reporting to Marc Lasarus.

Rovner and fellow WBTV President Brett Paul, who oversees all major dealmaking, jointly have had day-to-day management of all scripted TV programming developed and produced by the studio, a total of more than 60 current original series, 60% of them for SVOD platforms/cable networks. Rovner has personally developed or overseen the development of 18 series that have reached the 100-episode milestone.

Asked by Deadline about Rovner’s future at WBTV this past Thursday, WarnerMedia Studios & Networks chief Ann Sarnoff said, “I can’t comment speculation or rumors.”

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