As Chairman, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, Bonnie Hammer has executive oversight of leading cable brands USA, Syfy, E! Entertainment, Bravo, Oxygen, Esquire Network, Sprout, TV One, Chiller, Cloo and Universal HD, as well as Universal Cable Productions (UCP) and Wilshire Studios.
Under Hammer's leadership, USA achieved the #1 position in all of basic cable for a record-setting eight years with a stable of top-rated, Emmy and Golden Globe-honored programs, including “Psych,” “Royal Pains,” “White Collar,” “Covert Affairs,” “Suits,” “Political Animals,” and “Graceland.” In 2014, USA added original comedy and alternative programming to its slate; the reality series “Chrisley Knows Best” quickly became a breakout hit for the network.
During Hammer's tenure, Syfy has become a global brand, extending its reach to over 70 territories worldwide. In the U.S., Syfy has become a top rated cable network and an industry leader in original genre programming.
In September 2014, Hammer announced the formation of the Lifestyle Networks group within the Cable Entertainment portfolio; the group consists of E! Entertainment, Bravo, Oxygen and Esquire Network.
Hammer has overseen growth, both domestically and internationally, for E! Entertainment since adding the channel to her portfolio. In July 2012, E! unveiled a major brand evolution of the network and relaunch of its market-leading E! Online website, both of which solidified the brand’s leadership as the global destination for fans of pop culture. E! Online has delivered six consecutive quarters of growth, ranking #1 among entertainment news sites including TMZ and People.
Hammer assumed oversight of Bravo and Oxygen in February 2013. Bravo has become a top 10 cable network with its critically-acclaimed series and water cooler hits. Later this year, Oxygen will undergo a rebrand featuring authentic, upbeat and realistic content for the millennial woman.
With the debut of the Esquire Network in September 2013, Hammer oversaw the introduction of the iconic men's brand to the world of television. The lifestyle and entertainment network, a strategic partnership between NBCUniversal and Hearst Magazines, aims to introduce original, high-quality programming that speaks to men’s passions and interests.
In November 2013, Hammer oversaw the full acquisition of Sprout, a leading destination for preschoolers and their families, into the NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment portfolio.
The networks in Hammer's group are industry leaders in generating social and digital experiences reflective of their brands, including a number of industry firsts such as Syfy’s “Defiance,” an original hit program that converges television and online gaming; USA's innovative forays into digital storytelling and TV Everywhere; and inventive transmedia experiences at Bravo. Such efforts have been recognized by numerous industry awards including Emmy nominations in the Interactive Media categories, the Shortys, Webbys, and Cable Faxies, among others.
Hammer also oversees two production studios: Universal Cable Productions, which focuses on scripted content, and Wilshire Studios, which concentrates on reality programming.
Throughout her career, Hammer has demonstrated a strong commitment to social issues. In 2009, she drew on the legacy of USA’s Emmy Award-winning “Erase the Hate” pro-social campaign, which she spearheaded, to create “Characters Unite,” a public service program dedicated to combating hate and discrimination and promoting tolerance and acceptance. Under Hammer’s leadership, “Characters Unite” has grown into an award-winning, multi-platform initiative. The campaign has recently introduced a quarterly series of classic films whose positive themes are underscored by exclusive introductions, such as “To Kill a Mockingbird,” introduced by President Obama, and “The Color Purple,” introduced by Whoopi Goldberg.
Prior to her positions at USA and Syfy, Hammer was 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. Before coming to New York, Hammer executive produced “Good Day!” for WCVB in Boston, and produced the series “This Old House,” “Infinity Factory” and “Zoom!” for PBS.
The Hollywood Reporter has consistently cited Hammer on its annual list of the most important women in Hollywood; she has also been named to Fortune’s list of “50 Most Powerful Women,” Forbes’ list of “The World's 100 Most Powerful Women” and Vanity Fair's annual list of “Powers that Be.” Hammer received the 2013 Matrix Award from New York Women in Communications. In 2012, she received the prestigious Crystal+Lucy Award from Women in Film. She was also honored in 2012 by B’nai B’rith for “her commitment to initiatives confronting racism and bigotry”; and she was cited by acclaimed storytelling organization and “Characters Unite” partner The Moth for “philanthropic leadership in programs to end prejudice, discrimination and bullying.” She received the 2010 Vanguard Award for Distinguished Leadership from the National Cable Television Association. In 2008, Hammer received the Anti-Defamation League’s Entertainment Industry Award; she has since chaired ADL’s National Entertainment Advisory Council. In 2007, she was honored with NATPE's Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award, and was inducted into Broadcasting & Cable's Hall of Fame. Hammer has received a MUSE award for Outstanding Vision & Achievement from New York Women in Film and Television. She also serves on the strategic planning committee for Boston University’s College of Communication.
As a photographer, Hammer has had her work displayed in several galleries and published in Time magazine, The Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, The Los Angeles Times, and various Houghton-Mifflin and Little Brown books.
Hammer holds a bachelor's degree in communications and a master’s degree in media and new technology from Boston University.