Burke on Olbermann: ‘This Was a Decision Made By NBC News Management, Steve Capus and Phil Griffin’

By Alex Weprin Comment

(l-r) Williams, Ralph Roberts, Burke

At noon today, NBC Universal (now called, apparently NBCUniversal) held a town hall meeting in the “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” studio, where new CEO Steve Burke was interviewed by “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams.

They were joined by special guests, including Comcast founder Ralph Roberts, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts (from Los Angeles), SNL’s Seth Meyers and others.

During the Q&A session, Williams asked Burke about the departure of Keith Olbermann from MSNBC.

“This was a decision made by NBC News management, Steve Capus and Phil Griffin,” Burke said.

He also reiterated that Comcast had not yet assumed any control over NBC Universal, and thus could not make any personnel decisions, but that Comcast execs were aware of what was happening.

The meeting comes as Comcast officially assumes control of the company, bringing with it a new executive team, as well a new corporate logo. Today the company held what it called the “Day One Celebration.”

This morning, when NBC Universal employees got to their desks, they received a gift box containing 25 shares of Comcast stock, free passes to a Universal Studios theme park, a NBCU/Comcast cupcake, a coffee table book giving the history of Comcast, NBC and Universal as well as a letter from Burke and Roberts:

Dear Colleague:

Today marks the birth of the new NBCUniversal. Together, Comcast and NBCUniversal are poised to become the greatest media company in the world, delivering quality content to a global audience on every conceivable platform.

We are incredibly excited about this opportunity. We’re humbled, too, since we are keenly aware that NBC and Universal both have tremendous legacies, reaching back nearly a century. Although only half as old, Comcast also has a proud history, having grown from a single system cable operator to the largest video and residential Internet service provider in the country.

As we embark on this adventure together, it seems like a good time to reflect on how we got here. That’s why we put this book together. We hope you enjoy it and will be proud to be a part of what we’ve become.

The book is just one element of a gift package marking this occasion. Included is a certificate entitling you to 25 shares of stock in Comcast Corporation. Our hope is that you share ownership of this company and what we accomplish together.

You’ll also find a free pass for you and your family to one of the Universal theme parks – because we want you to get to know all our businesses, and have some fun, too.

And we’ve included what we’re calling “The Big Idea Book.” We’re a company founded on and driven by big ideas, and this gives you a place to record your own.

Last but not least, you’ll see a copy of the NBCUniversal Credo. This is, quite literally, what we believe. We hope you’ll agree, and come to see these as not just words but the distillation of a company culture that defines who we are, what we do, and how we do it.

NBCUniversal and Comcast are remarkable companies.

Together, we will be even better.

Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO, Comcast Corporation
Steve Burke, CEO, NBCUniversal

They also announced a “company credo,” which is below:

We are in business to create and deliver content so compelling it entertains, informs, and shapes our world.

We believe that the talent, creativity, and diversity of our people are our greatest resources. We emphasize teamwork because we are smarter, more dynamic and better together.

We believe in doing the right thing and treating people the right way. We think integrity and honestly are the foundation of a productive working environment. We take our business seriously, but do not take ourselves too seriously.

We are passionate about what we do and take pride in what we create. We have a pioneering spirit and are willing to take risks and embrace new technologies. We like to keep score and win.

As we grow our businesses together, we will not just anticipate the future, but rather create, invent and deliver it.