NBCUniversal Promotes Rachel Smith To Oversee Reality & Doc Programming; Replaces Rod Aissa On Permanent Basis

NBCUniversal has found its permanent lifestyle and documentary chief.

Rachel Smith has been promoted to EVP, Unscripted Content, Lifestyle & Documentaries. She replaces Rod Aissa, who left in June.

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Smith has been doing the role on an interim basis since Aissa’s departure. It took a moment after the restructure that saw Donna Langley promoted to oversee the television side in addition to the film division that led to the departure of Susan Rovner, who had been figuring out whether to hand Smith the role on a permanent basis or start an outside search.

She will work closely with Corie Henson, EVP, Entertainment Unscripted Content who oversees competition and game shows.

Smith now reports to Frances Berwick, Chairman, NBCUniversal Entertainment. 

She will oversee lifestyle, true crime, documentary and docuseries content development and current programming across NBCU’s entertainment portfolio, which includes NBC, Bravo, E!, Oxygen True Crime, Syfy, Universal Kids, USA Network and Peacock.

Prior to Aissa’s exit, she was EVP, Unscripted Development, where she oversaw series such as Peacock’s Casey Anthony: Where the Truth Lies, The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks, Queen’s Court and Paris in Love.

She also had a pivotal role on a number of its reality series such as The Real Housewives franchise and Below Deck.

Smith joined NBCUniversal in 2013, having been VP, Original Programming at BBC America, where she worked on series such as Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan.

“Rachel is an exceptional leader who has created many brand-defining original programs for NBCUniversal,” Berwick said. “Her expertise in storytelling and keen eye for intriguing personalities, arenas and trends, along with her deep relationships, make Rachel an excellent addition to our content leadership team.” 

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