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Comcast Unveils New NBC Universal Management Structure

NEW YORK -- After much chatter, cable giant Comcast Corp. on Thursday unveiled its new management structure for NBC Universal, which it is planning to acquire, with the new setup ensuring continuity in the film and cable networks businesses, while bringing key changes at the NBC network.

Comcast COO Steve Burke, who will serve as CEO of NBC Universal, announced details of the new setup and reporting lines in an email memo. He will get more direct oversight of the company's cable and broadcast TV networks in the new structure.

"Our goal has been to find people who have the skill sets we need to succeed and who reflect the values that will be the hallmark of NBC Universal, including teamwork, integrity, creativity and a commitment to treating people the right way," Burke said.  


As widely expected, former Showtime programming boss Robert Greenblatt, profiled in the latest issue of The Hollywood Reporter, will oversee entertainment programming at the NBC network, reporting directly to Burke. Greenblatt's title: chairman, NBC Entertainment.

In his memo, Burke said Greenblatt will be responsible for all aspects of prime time and late night programming, business affairs, West Coast research, marketing, public relations, scheduling and NBC Universal Media Studios. Marc Graboff and Angela Bromstad will report to Greenblatt.

Ted Harbert, who in the past ran NBC's production studio and currently oversees Comcast's West Coast-based channels such as E! Entertainment, will take over the business side of the network, including advertising sales and affiliate relations, as chairman, NBC Broadcasting.

Harbert will be responsible for broadcast advertising sales, NBC affiliate relations, companywide research, domestic TV syndication and the NBC station group. 

Staying in place with expanded portfolios and also reporting directly to Burke will be Bonnie Hammer and Lauren Zalaznick.

Hammer currently oversees NBC Uni's USA, Syfy and other cable networks and will add Comcast networks E! and G4. Her title will be chairman, NBC Universal Cable Entertainment and Cable Studios. Neil Tiles, president of G4, will report to Hammer as will a newly appointed president of E!, according to Burke's memo.

Zalaznick, who runs such businesses as Bravo and Oxygen as part of her women and lifestyle focus, will add Spanish-language broadcaster Telemundo and the Style Network to her portfolio, as well as Comcast online properties such as Daily Candy and Fandango. Her title: chairman, NBC Universal Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media. 

Among other top NBC Uni executives staying in their roles are Universal Studios boss Ron Meyer, NBC Sports head Dick Ebersol who will add the Comcast sports portfolio, Steve Capus, who oversees NBC News, and CNBC head Mark Hoffman.

Not mentioned in the memo, but staying in their jobs are MSNBC president Phil Griffin and Mitch Metcalf, executive vp of program planning and scheduling.

Comcast's Jeff Shell and Matt Bond will tackle new roles at NBC Universal. Shell, who oversees Comcast's cable networks and had been mentioned as a possible CEO for Tribune, has been tapped to run the international TV business, while Bond, currently in charge of Comcast's programming agreements, will oversee distribution of content on TV and digital platforms.

The Hollywood Reporter previously reported exclusively that Jeff Gaspin is leaving his post of chairman of NBC Universal Television Entertainment, which he has held since July 2009.

Lynn Calpeter will continue as executive vp and CFO of NBC Universal along with some other key corporate strategists who will be joined by some outside talent.

Said Burke: "While new roles won't be effective until the deal closes, and while there will be more announcements to come, it is important that we are prepared to hit the ground running."

Marisa Guthrie contributed to this report.

Read Burke's full email after the jump.

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From Steve Burke:

We are beginning our leadership announcements now because with the anticipated close of the deal nearing, we want to give everyone enough time to begin to think about the specific opportunities and challenges they will face beginning the day of the close. This is particularly true for areas that have transition work to complete before we close.  While new roles won't be effective until the deal closes, and while there will be more announcements to come, it is important that we are prepared to hit the ground running.

To that end, I am pleased to make the following initial announcements of members of the new NBC Universal senior management team:

Bonnie Hammer will become Chairman, NBC Universal Cable Entertainment and Cable Studios.  USA, SyFy, E! Entertainment, G4, Chiller, Sleuth, Universal HD and UCP (Universal Cable Productions) will report to Bonnie. Neil Tiles will remain President of G4 and report to Bonnie as will a newly appointed president of E! Entertainment.

Lauren Zalaznick will become Chairman, NBC Universal Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media.  Bravo, Oxygen, and iVillage will continue to report to Lauren, as will the Integrated Strategic Marketing Group, which oversees initiatives including Green Is Universal, Healthy at NBC Universal and Women at NBC Universal.  Digital properties Daily Candy and Fandango, Spanish language broadcaster Telemundo, and cable networks mun2, Style, and PBS Sprout will also report to Lauren.  Telemundo will continue to be led by Don Browne (President) and Jackie Hernandez (Chief Operating Officer);  Salaam Coleman Smith will continue to lead Style; and Chuck Davis will continue to lead Fandango and Daily Candy, each reporting to Lauren.

Dave Cassaro will become President, Cable Advertising Sales, reporting to both Bonnie and Lauren.  Dave will be responsible for cable and digital sales. Steve Mandala, Peter Naylor and Mike Rodriguez will report to Dave.

Ted Harbert will join NBC Universal from Comcast as Chairman, NBC Broadcasting. Ted will be responsible for broadcast advertising sales, NBC affiliate relations, companywide research, domestic TV syndication and the NBC station group.  Alan Wurtzel, Barry Wallach, Vivi Zigler and John Wallace will report to Ted.

Marianne Gambelli will become President, NBC Network Advertising Sales. She will be responsible for network primetime, news and sports advertising sales and she will report to Ted.

Bob Greenblatt will become Chairman, NBC Entertainment, responsible for all aspects of prime time and late night programming, business affairs, West Coast research, marketing, public relations, scheduling and NBC Universal Media Studios. Most recently, Bob was President, Entertainment for Showtime Networks, Inc. Marc Graboff and Angela Bromstad will report to Bob.

Steve Capus will continue to serve as President of NBC News/MSNBC.

Mark Hoffman will continue in his position as President of CNBC.

Dick Ebersol will become Chairman of the NBC Sports Group.  He will be responsible for NBC Sports, The Golf Channel, Versus and the Comcast Regional Sports Networks. Jon Litner (RSNs), Jamie Davis (Versus) and Earl Marshall (Golf) will report to Dick.

Ron Meyer will continue to be President and COO, Universal Studios.  Adam Fogelson will continue as Chairman, Universal Pictures and Tom Williams will be in charge of Universal Parks and Resorts.

Jeff Shell will join NBC Universal from Comcast and move to London to become Chairman of NBC Universal International.  Peter Smith will report to Jeff.

Lynn Calpeter will continue to be Executive Vice President and CFO of NBC Universal.  In addition to the financial team, Ed Swindler, COO of Ad Sales, will report to Lynn and he will be heavily involved in companywide sales efforts.

Pat Fili-Krushel will join NBC Universal as Executive Vice President with a broad portfolio of functions reporting to her, including Media Works, Business Strategy, Human Resources and Legal.  Pat joins us from Time Warner, where she served as Executive Vice President, Administration. 

Rick Cotton will continue to serve as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of NBC Universal and will report to Pat and me.

Salil Mehta will continue to serve as President, Business Operations, Strategy and Development for NBC Universal and will also report to Pat.

John Eck will continue his role as President of Media Works, reporting to Pat as well.

Adam Miller will join NBC Universal as Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs. Communications will report to Adam and he will also work on special projects.  Adam joins us from the Abernathy MacGregor Group, where he was President and served as a longstanding adviser to Comcast.

Matt Bond will join NBC Universal from Comcast as Executive Vice President, Content Distribution, responsible for domestic television content and digital distribution.  Bridget Baker and JB Perrette will report to Matt.

Paula Madison will continue to serve as Executive Vice President, Diversity.

Page Thompsonwill join NBC Universal from Comcast as Executive Vice President, Strategic Integration, responsible for identifying synergy opportunities between Comcast, NBC, Universal Studios and Parks and the cable channels.
 

Jeff Gaspin, Mike Pilot and Allison Gollust will be leaving NBC Universal at the close of the transaction. These transitions are often difficult and at times people who have made great contributions end up leaving.  I want to thank them for their hard work and professionalism throughout the transition planning process.

The team described above will not begin to operate the company until after the transaction closes, which will occur following regulatory approval.  Between now and then, each business will continue to be managed by its respective leadership team, and NBC Universal will continue to be led by Jeff Zucker, whose talent, hard work and commitment have been instrumental in building NBC Universal into the company it is today.    

I also want to take this opportunity to thank everyone at NBC Universal and the Comcast Programming Group for your continued patience, hard work and focus.  While this announcement provides some clarity to some roles and responsibilities, it is only the first in what will be a series of milestones as we move into 2011.

I hope you are as excited as I am by the prospect of what we can accomplish together in the future.

Steve