THR's Women in Entertainment 2011: Power 100
In March, after Comcast closed on its acquisition of NBCUniversal, Menendez added to her job oversight of approximately 70 channels that are part of Universal Networks International, while remaining head of international TV distribution. Her new role, in which more than 300 people report to her, required that Menendez relocate to London, where she grew up but had not lived in decades. She has spent the months since then merging four NBCUniversal and Comcast units.
"Being acquired by a company is always interesting," says the divorced mother of two college students. "You have to adapt to a process and business style." That has involved combining distribution, sales and channels outside the United States. Her duties have placed greater demands on her time: "I was working long hours and now I'm working even longer hours. I'm hoping by the middle of next year, we will get into an operating rhythm."
The challenge she has been given is to grow the international businesses, including TV distribution and new media. She says most of her big competitors get at least 16 percent of their business from international, but "at the Comcast group we only have 8 percent, so the intent is to really expand over the coming years." One way will be to expand Picture Box, NBC's proprietary VOD service, territory by territory.
Of the changes to her job since the merger, she says: "I'm much more focused on strategy. In the initial months, we have spent a lot of time trying to put together the most effective structure."
She will be full-time in London by early next year but still intends to spend a lot of time in L.A. Says Menendez: "It's great to come back home, and great to have this opportunity."
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