Stephen Burke will become chief executive officer of NBC Universal upon the close of Comcast’s acquisition of 51% of NBCU from GE, both companies announced today. The news comes two days after current NBCU CEO Jeff Zucker, a lifetime NBC employee, announced he would be stepping down once the deal closes.
Burke is COO of Comcast and is past president of Comcast Cable. But he has broadcast TV in his blood. He’s the son of Daniel Burke, who along with Tom Murphy, ran Capital Cities Communications, an owner of several local TV stations. Cap Cities acquired ABC TV, a company 10 times its size, for $3.5 billion in 1985. Disney bought ABC 10 years later for $19 billion. Interestingly, Comcast made an unsuccessful $54 billion bid for Disney in 2004.
Says GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt about today’s news, “I have known Steve Burke for many years and greatly respect him. He has deep expertise in this industry and I am very confident that he will be a strong leader for NBC Universal.”
COMCAST AND GE NAME STEVE BURKE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF
PHILADELPHIA, PA and FAIRFIELD, CT – SEPTEMBER 26, 2010 – Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK) and General Electric (NYSE: GE) announced today that Stephen B. Burke will become chief executive officer of NBC Universal (NBCU) upon the close of Comcast’s acquisition of 51% of NBCU from GE.
Burke, 52, would succeed NBC Universal President and CEO Jeff Zucker, who will continue to serve in his position until the close of the transaction and will work with Mr. Burke to ensure a smooth leadership transition. Comcast and GE also said that there will be no additional structural or personnel announcements until the deal closing process and timing is certain.
Comcast Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian L. Roberts said, “Steve Burke is an experienced, talented and visionary leader with over 25 years in the media and entertainment industry. Steve is one of the most well-respected executives in the industry, and I am confident that he will lead NBCU forward to a new era of growth.”
GE Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Immelt said, “I have known Steve Burke for many years and greatly respect him. He has deep expertise in this industry and I am very confident that he will be a strong leader for NBC Universal.”