NBC Universal said Sunday that it had tapped fast-rising programming executive Katherine Pope to be president of its TV production studio.
The move follows last week's management shake-up in which NBC Entertainment chief Kevin Reilly was booted to make room for producer Ben Silverman, who will oversee NBC's programming as well as NBC Universal Television Studio.
Angela Bromstad, the previous studio president, will be reassigned, the company said.
NBC ended the TV season last month in fourth place in the prime-time ratings, a disappointment for the onetime network leader and its parent, General Electric Co.
Pope, 34, most recently had served as Reilly's second-in-command and played a key role in helping shape NBC's fall lineup with such new shows as "Bionic Woman," "Chuck" and "Lipstick Jungle."
The Universal City-based production arm employs about 120 people and produces more than a dozen prime-time series including "Heroes" for NBC, "House" for Fox Broadcasting and "Battlestar Galactica" for the Sci Fi cable channel, which also is owned by NBC Universal.
"This is where I've always wanted to be," Pope said in an interview Sunday. "I am happy to let network executives take the spotlight. I feel more comfortable in studio management, working with the talent."
Last week, Pope's new boss, Marc Graboff, co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and NBC Universal Television Studio, said the primary mission of the studio, which the company calls NUTS, is to develop shows for NBC and other company-owned channels. The scaled-back ambition for the studio doesn't bother Pope.
"There are a lot of needs at the network," she said, adding that the studio would continue to sell shows to outside companies.
"I genuinely don't worry about that," Pope said, adding, "The studio will expand and grow and there will be plenty of opportunities."
TV companies are increasingly relying on in-house studios to produce programs for their networks. That's because ownership gives them more latitude to exploit shows on digital platforms, including the Internet.