Immelt: 'Good days ahead' for NBC Uni


General Electric chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt showered NBC Universal with more love Wednesday, again shooting down persistent chatter that the conglomerate could sell its entertainment arm. But he also emphasized the importance of changing the network TV model.

"The company is worth more with NBC as part of it than it would be without NBC," Immelt said on the morning show "Squawk Box" on CNBC, which is part of the entertainment arm.

"I look at NBC Universal as a good way to grow 10%-15% next year and good returns," he added. "I think this is the wrong time to think about exiting. We have good days ahead of us."

Immelt added that NBC Uni "in its worst year had 18% operating profit margins and participates in a big global market that has good opportunities for growth."

When asked by CNBC's Joe Kernen if the broadcast network business is still a good one, Immelt said: "The TV network business model, Joe, has to change and will change. … We've been through that in every one of our businesses. … Anyone out there that thinks the TV network is going to be run the same way two years from now is crazy."

The GE boss argued that his conglomerate is better positioned to win in a changing market than its competitors.

In his trademark pointed way, Kernen also referenced the writers strike. "You're making power turbines and jet engines, locomotives, a myriad of these incredible things (at GE), yet you have to deal with the whims and wishes of these flaky Hollywood writers," he said.

To which Immelt replied, "We have lots of unions inside the company and not just the writers."