EXCLUSIVE: Jeff Wachtel is leaving NBCUniversal after almost two decades with the company, most recently as President of NBCUniversal International Studios since 2018.
According to sources, there have been internal complaints about Wachtel’s management style. They led to a discussion between management and Wachtel about respect in the workplace, and it was decided that the experienced managing director should leave. A search for his replacement is started.
As president of NBCUniversal International Studios, Wachtel oversaw the studio’s international production companies, including producer Carnival Films from Downton Abbey, who recently produced Belgravia for Epix, and British non-scripted company Monkey, who created the reality hit Made In Chelsea as well the Australian production is made by Matchbox Pictures, which recently closed a Netflix deal for Cate Blanchett’s refugee drama Stateless. He was also responsible for NBCU’s involvement in joint ventures such as Working Title Television and David Heymans Heyday Television, which produces the BBC hit The Capture, which was recently released on Peacock.
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Prior to moving to London to direct international production, Wachtel was Chief Content Officer at NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment and President at Universal Cable Productions & Wilshire Studios. He was previously President of Original Programming and Co-President of USA Network. Wachtel originally came to the US in 2001 as an EPP.
During his successful tenure in the United States, Wachtel helped become the No. 1 cable network with a number of successful original series. Some of the series he has directed in the US and at UCP over the years include Monk, Burn Notice, Royal Pains, Psych, Mr. Robot, Suits and The Sinner.
Before joining the United States, Wachtel was President of Alliance Atlantis Television. He also worked for Columbia Pictures Television and was promoted to EVP of primetime television. There he developed series such as Party of Five and Dawson’s Creek.
Peter White contributed to this story.