Bonnie Hammer (born 1950) is an American businesswoman and network executive. As Chairman of NBCUniversal Cable, Hammer oversees the leading cable brands USA, The Sci-Fi Channel, E!, Bravo, Oxygen, Esquire Network, Sprout, TV One, Chiller, Cloo, and Universal HD, as well as production entities Universal Cable Productions and Wilshire Studios.
Hammer in September 2009
|Born||1950 (age 68–69)|
|Alma mater||Boston University College of Communication (BA) |
Boston University School of Education (MA)
|Occupation||Chairman, NBCUniversal Direct-to-Consumer and Digital Enterprises|
|Children||Kimae Heussner (step-daughter) |
Born to a Jewish family in 1950, Hammer was raised in Queens, New York, the youngest of three children. Hammer's mother was a full-time mom; her dad, a Russian immigrant, started his own pen company. Intending to become a photojournalist, Hammer enrolled at Boston University College of Communication, earning a bachelor's degree in communications in 1971 and later a master's degree in Media Technology from the Boston University School of Education in 1975.
Hammer began her career in television at WGBH-TV, the public television station in Boston, where she produced This Old House, Infinity Factory and ZOOM for PBS. She later executive-produced Good Day! for Boston's ABC affiliate, WCVB-TV.
Hammer first established herself professionally in New York as an original programming executive at Lifetime Television Network, where she executive produced several award-winning documentaries for the network's acclaimed Signature Series; she was honored with the Lillian Gish Award, several Cine Golden Eagles and the National Association for Youth's Mentor Award.
In 1989 Hammer joined Universal Television as a programming executive. Here, Hammer partnered with Vince McMahon to transform the WWF franchise into a cultural phenomenon. Hammer also spearheaded the launch of the successful “Sci Fi Prime,” the channel's first full night of original programming, as well as the “I am Sci-Fi” messaging effort which redefined how viewers related to the channel and its programming.
When Hammer took on the role of Sci-Fi president, she brought to network a mini-series in partnership with Steven Spielberg called, Steven Spielberg Presents: Taken. The project, a twenty-hour miniseries about alien abductions, garnered the best ratings Sci-Fi had seen to date and earned the channel its first major Emmy. During the six years Hammer presided over Sci-Fi, the channel's audience doubled and Sci-Fi ranked in cable's top 10 among adults 25 to 54 and 18 to 49.
In 2004 Universal Television merged with NBC and Hammer became president of USA in addition to Sci-Fi. As she had done at Sci-Fi, Hammer rebranded USA with “Characters Welcome,” – conveying the message that people, and “wacky but memorable characters” were at the heart of the channel's programming. USA has ranked #1 among cable networks for a record-setting eight years. After her success at Sci-Fi and USA, Hammer was named the most influential woman in cable by CableWorld magazine.
In March 2008, Hammer took leadership at the new studio Universal Cable Productions. At the same time she became head of the digital networks Cloo, Chiller and Universal HD. Adding to the list in 2011, she assumed responsibility for E!, G4 and Wilshire Studios. In July 2012, under the leadership of Hammer, E! unveiled a major brand evolution of the network and relaunch of its market-leading E! Online website, both of which allowed E! to become the global destination for pop culture. In September 2013, she oversaw the launch of Esquire Network, a lifestyle and entertainment network that replaced Style Network (Variety).
Hammer currently serves on the board of the Ad Council, as well as the Celebration of Women's Achievements in Television and Radio steering committee for the Paley Center for Media. She also serves on the strategic planning committee for Boston University's College of Communication, and is a mentor for Women in Film & Television.
Her current plans as NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Chairman are to re-evaluate and adapt NBCUniversal channels to become less gender-based as there is a preconceived notion that many of the channels are only for women. Bravo, Hammer says, “is fortysomething, very affluent, female-plus—Franny [Bravo and Oxygen Media president Frances Berwick] hates it when anyone calls it a women’s network. There are lots of guilty-pleasure guys who watch it and a lot of co-viewing as well. E! is smack in the middle. It’s thirtysomething, it’s kind of affluent, but they’re thirtysomethings that are on their way up. There are unmarrieds, marrieds, not-yet-marrieds, employed or employable, a little younger and a little hipper, and that’s their sweet spot.” She also made a controversial decision to have "male" channel, Esquire, take over the Style Network instead of "gamer network", G4, to further the individual style of NBCUniversal's networks and create content that overlaps style content while also reaching male audiences
While at USA Network, Hammer spearheaded the “Erase the Hate” pro-social campaign, which earned a National Emmy Governor's Award. She later extended it to create “Characters Unite,” a public service program to combat hate and discrimination and promoting tolerance and acceptance. Under Hammer's leadership, Characters Unite has grown into an award-winning, multi-platform initiative that includes on-air programming such as documentaries and themed episodes of USA series, public service announcements, digital content through the website and social media outlets, and community outreach and high school education programs, featuring a partnership with storytelling group The Moth. In 2018, Erase The Hate was relaunched in partnership with Civic Nation, a non-partisan non-profit organization, to support and celebrate those taking action in the fight against hate across America.
Hammer also created the “Visions for Tomorrow” campaign, which is an effort to spark America's leading thinkers, organizations, and policymakers into searching for ways to solve society's most pressing issues.
Hammer has received several awards for her work in the span of her career. She has consistently been named to The Hollywood Reporter's Power 100, an annual list of the most influential women in Hollywood. She was given the National Association of Television Programming Executives’ 2007 Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award and inducted into Broadcasting & Cable's Hall of Fame the same year. Hammer has also received a MUSE award for outstanding vision and achievement from New York Women in Film & Television. She has been repeatedly featured on lists such as the "50 Most Powerful Women" in Fortune, "The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women" in Forbes, as well as the "Powers that Be" in Vanity Fair. In 2012, Hammers was given the Crystal + Lucy Award for Excellence in Television by Women in Film.
Praise for her social activism includes her 2012 honor by B’nai B’rith for “her commitment to initiatives confronting racism and bigotry’; and she was cited by storytelling organization The Moth for “philanthropic leadership in programs to end prejudice, discrimination and bullying.” Hammer was given the 2010 Vanguard Award for Distinguished Leadership from the National Cable Television Association, and the Anti-Defamation League's Entertainment Industry Award.
In 2016, Hammer was listed on Vanity Fair's New Establishment List, described as 100 “Silicon Valley hotshots, Hollywood moguls, Wall Street titans, and cultural icons.”
Hammer is an accomplished photographer, and her work has been displayed in galleries and published in Time, the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, the Los Angeles Times, and various Houghton-Mifflin and Little Brown books. She resides in Westport, Connecticut with her husband, Dale Heussner. Her husband has one child from a previous marriage and they have one child together.
13ème Rue Universal is a television channel specialising in action and suspense shows and movies. It is owned by NBCUniversal.CNBC Awaaz
CNBC Awaaz is an Indian pay television channel, owned by CNBC and TV18 based in New Delhi.Diva (TV network)
Diva, formerly Diva Universal, is a woman-based entertainment channel owned by Universal Networks International.
The list of Diva channels includes:
Diva (Asia TV channel)
Diva Universal (Philippines) defunct
Diva Universal (Bulgaria) defunct
Diva Universal (Italy) defunct
Diva Universal (Romania) currently
Diva Universal (Russia) defunct
Diva Adria (Serbia/Croatia/Slovenia)E! (Asian TV channel)
E! is a Southeast Asian pay television channel, owned by NBCUniversal. It was officially launched on 14 October 2007 and its programming its centred towards celebrity-focused reality shows.Focus Features
Focus Features LLC is an American film production and distribution company, owned by Comcast through Universal Pictures, a division of its wholly owned subsidiary NBCUniversal. Focus Features distributes independent and foreign films in the United States and internationally.Kendra (TV series)
Kendra is an American reality television series that debuted on the E! cable network, on June 7, 2009. The program is the first spin-off of The Girls Next Door, and documents the life of model Kendra Baskett, a former girlfriend of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, after moving out of the Playboy Mansion, including her engagement and marriage to football player Hank Baskett and her adjustment to being a first-time mother.
On March 21, 2012, Kendra announced that she had parted ways with E!, as the network "went in a different direction". This was following comments made by then-new E! president Bonnie Hammer in July 2011, where she vowed to "get rid of the more Playboy trashy element" from the network while the final season was completing production. This pledge also led to the cancellation of Holly's World.
The series was then followed up with Kendra on Top, which began airing on WE tv in mid-2012.Movies 24
Movies 24 is a television channel in the United Kingdom owned and operated by NBCUniversal. It launched on 26 June 2006 on Sky. During the Christmas period the channels are rebranded as Christmas 24 and Christmas 24 +.NBCUniversal
NBCUniversal Media, LLC is an American worldwide mass media conglomerate owned by Comcast and headquartered at Rockefeller Plaza's Comcast Building in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. It is one of two successor companies to MCA Inc., the other being Vivendi through its subsidiary Universal Music Group.
NBCUniversal is primarily involved in the media and entertainment industry; among its most significant divisions are the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), one of the United States' "Big Three" television networks, and the film studio Universal Pictures. It also has a significant presence in broadcasting through a portfolio of domestic and international properties, including terrestrial and pay television outlets. Via its Universal Parks & Resorts division, NBCUniversal is also the third-largest operator of amusement parks in the world.NBCUniversal was formed in 2004 with the merger of General Electric's NBC with Vivendi Universal's film and television subsidiary Vivendi Universal Entertainment, after GE had acquired 80% of the subsidiary, giving Vivendi a 20% share of the new company. In 2011, Comcast attained 51% and thereby the control of newly reformed NBCUniversal, by purchasing shares from GE, while GE bought out Vivendi. Since 2013, the company is wholly owned by Comcast, which bought GE's ownership stake.NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group
NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group, formerly NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment & Cable Studios, is the division of NBCUniversal that oversees all of the conglomerate's non-sports cable television channels.NBCUniversal Television Group
NBCUniversal Television Group is the common name for NBCUniversal Broadcast, Cable, Sports and News and NBC Entertainment (and at times NBC/Universal News Group and NBC Sports Group), both American television units of NBCUniversal.Oxygen (TV channel)
Oxygen is an American pay television channel that is owned by NBCUniversal, which is owned by Comcast. The channel primarily airs true crime programming targeted towards women.
The network was founded by Geraldine Laybourne, and carried a format focused on lifestyle and entertainment programming oriented towards women, similar to competing channels such as Lifetime. NBCUniversal acquired the network in 2007; under NBC ownership, the network increasingly produced reality shows aimed at the demographic, and was relaunched in 2014 to target a "modern", younger female audience. After the network experienced ratings successes with a programming block dedicated to such programming, Oxygen was relaunched in mid-2017 to focus primarily on true-crime programs.
As of February 2015, approximately 77.5 million American households (66.5% of households with television) receive Oxygen. Under its current format, the network primarily competes with Investigation Discovery and HLN.Peacock Productions
Peacock Productions is a long-form production unit of NBC News. The division, established on July 15, 2007, produces factual programming such as news specials, documentary specials, and reality series. While some of its productions do air on other NBCUniversal outlets (such as the NBC network and MSNBC), it produces programs for competing broadcasters as well, such as the networks of A&E Networks and Discovery among others. Peacock has served as an incubator for new production technologies that have later been adopted by NBC News, such as tapeless recording.Power 100
The Hollywood Reporter's Power 100 list, published annually since 1992, is a ranking of the 100 most powerful women in entertainment—film and television executives, agents, producers and occasionally performers. The list is made public in December during the magazine's yearly Women in Entertainment Breakfast. The factors on which the ranking is based have varied in the past. For example, the 2009 Power 100 took into account: achievements (box office, television ratings or dollars generated); overall authority within her company and Hollywood; greenlight power (ability to get a project made); and her standing within the industry.Despite the existence of similar rankings, such as Forbes's Celebrity 100 and Vanity Fair's New Establishment issue, the competition surrounding the Power 100 has remained substantial, particularly since Janice Min became chief creative officer at The Hollywood Reporter in 2010. In 2014, The New York Times called the Power 100 "one of the most fearsome competitions in show business," akin to the campaigns preceding the Academy Awards, adding that "for certain executives, agents and producers, this has become a blood sport."Anne Sweeney, then co-chairman of Disney Media Networks, was named the most powerful woman in entertainment eight times between 2004 and 2013. Oprah Winfrey, chairman of Harpo Inc., and Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, were ranked in first place in 2008 and 2009 respectively. In 2014, NBCUniversal chairman Bonnie Hammer superseded Sweeney as the entertainment industry's most powerful woman.SBS CNBC
SBS CNBC is a 24-hour business news channel in South Korea.Syfy (France)
See Sci Fi Channel for a list of other Sci Fi channels.Syfy is the French-speaking 24-hour science fiction entertainment channel based on the US version of the same name. The channel originally launched in December 2005 under the branding of the Sci-fi Channel. It became the fourth "Sci Fi Channel" alongside channels in the United States, UK and Germany. The channel was rebranded Syfy on January 5, 2010 as part of global rebrand. SYFY on August 29, 2017 as part of global rebrand.Syfy Universal (Russia)
See Syfy Universal for a list of other Syfy/Sci Fi channels.Syfy formerly known as the Sci Fi Channel. The Syfy in Russia and Kazakhstan is launched on May 30, 2008. It was available on cable and satellite television.
Syfy replaced Sci-fi Channel on April 13, 2010Telemundo Studios
Telemundo Studios, formerly known as Telemondo Television Studios, is a division of NBCUniversal that develops original programming in Spanish.The Girls Next Door
The Girls Next Door, also known as The Girls of the Playboy Mansion, is a reality television series which originally aired on E! from August 7, 2005 until August 8, 2010. The series was created by executive producer Kevin Burns and Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy magazine.
The show was followed by four spin-offs, Kendra, Kendra on Top, Bridget's Sexiest Beaches, and Holly's World.Universal Channel (Japanese TV channel)
Universal Channel was a Japanese television channel.
|NBCU Film and|
Sports and News
* Denotes joint ventures