EXCLUSIVE: Jeff Wachtel is leaving NBCUniversal after almost two decades at the company, most recently as President of NBCUniversal International Studios since 2018.
According to sources, there had been internal complaints about Wachtel’s management style. They led to a discussion between the company leadership and Wachtel about respect in the workplace, and a decision was made for the veteran executive to depart. A search will be launched for his replacement.
As President of NBCUniversal International Studios, Wachtel oversaw the studio’s international production companies including Downton Abbey producer Carnival Films, which also recently produced Belgravia for Epix, and British non-scripted firm Monkey, which makes reality hit Made In Chelsea, as well as Australian production company Matchbox Pictures, which recently scored a Netflix deal for Cate Blanchett refugee drama Stateless. He has also been responsible for NBCU’s involvement in joint ventures including Working Title Television and David Heyman’s Heyday Television, which produces BBC hit The Capture that recently launched on Peacock.
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Before moving to London to head international production, Wachtel served as Chief Content Officer, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment and President, Universal Cable Productions & Wilshire Studios. Prior to that, he was President of Original Programming and Co-President of USA Network. Wachtel originally joined USA in 2001 as EVP, original programming.
During his successful tenure at USA, Wachtel helped it become the No. 1 cable network with a slew of hit original series. Some of the series he shepherded over the years at USA and UCP include Monk, Burn Notice, Royal Pains, Psych, Mr. Robot, Suits and The Sinner.
Before joining USA, Wachtel served as president of Alliance Atlantis Television. He also did a stint at Columbia Pictures Television, rising to EVP of primetime television. There he developed such series as Party of Five and Dawson’s Creek.
Peter White contributed to this story.