04/02/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

NBC Splits TV Studios, Elevates USA, SciFi Chief

NBC Universal signed one of its top cable network executives, Bonnie Hammer, to a new contract Monday while also expanding her duties to include control over the development of all entertainment programming for cable channels.

The move sets up an unusual division at the television studio owned by NBC Universal, with Ms. Hammer overseeing all the shows intended to be played on cable. Katherine Pope, who is president of Universal Media Studios, will now oversee development of shows only for NBC's broadcast network.

Ms. Hammer will also begin to oversee a group of smaller cable networks owned by NBC, including the Chiller and Sleuth networks, which are devoted to horror and mystery programs.

The expansion of duties was chiefly intended to reward Ms. Hammer for her success in running the USA and SciFi networks, which have become cornerstones of NBC Universal cable. The USA Network, with programs like "Monk" and "Burn Notice," is the top-rated cable channel. SciFi, with shows like "Battlestar Galactica," ranks seventh.

"It's an acknowledgment of the fantastic job she has done for the company since Day 1," said Jeff Zucker, president of NBC Universal, a unit of General Electric.

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