Ken Schanzer, No. 2 to Dick Ebersol, to Step Down From NBC Sports - It's Official

 AP Photo/Richard Drew

One week after Dick Ebersol stepped down as chairman of the NBC Sports group, his deputy, Ken Schanzer, has announced plans to retire.

Schanzer has been president of NBC Sports since 1998. He's worked at the network for 30 years.

Alongside Ebersol, Schanzer helped negotiate many of the network's major sports contracts, including the $2 billion deal with the NHL in April.

“It has been the greatest privilege of my professional career to have contributed to the growth of NBC Sports and to have worked with so many prodigious people,” said Schanzer in a statement. “It’s comforting to know that when I leave at the end of the summer, the NBC Sports Group will be in the hands of Mark Lazarus and all the talented people here who have meant so much to me throughout my career.”

“Ken, who I have known for 15 years, has been one of the most respected and influential sports-television executives of the past three decades and is a major reason that the NBC Sports Group is so well positioned for the future,” said NBC Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus. “I am pleased that he will remain through the summer as I will regularly seek his counsel as I transition into my new role.”

“Ken has had an impressive career here and I am incredibly appreciative of all he has done to build NBC Sports into the formidable brand that it is today,” said Steve Burke, CEO, NBCUniversal. “I wish him all the best in his retirement.”

Ebersol left on May 19 after being unable to agree on a new contract. ANALYSIS: The inside story on why Ebersol stepped down.

The move comes at a crucial time for NBC Sports as it mulls a bid for the 2014 and 2016 Olympics, and five months after Comcast completed its takeover of NBC Universal.

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