CNBC a Bright Spot in NBCU’s Third Quarter Earnings

By Alex Weprin 

General Electric announced its third quarter earnings this morning, and its NBC Universal division delivered solid numbers. Earnings were down 15% compared to Q3 last year, but that was due to one-time events and transactions that happened in that quarter, including NBCU’s change in ownership interest at A&E Networks.

On an operating basis, profits were up 32% compared to the same period last year, driven by the cable entertainment networks, local media, film and theme parks.

Among the news properties, CNBC was highlighted, with NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker writing in an internal memo that the financial network posted increases in both revenue and operating profit. MSNBC and its new brand campaign and NBC News’ “Education Nation” event were also mentioned, though specifics about revenue and profits were not.

In the memo, Zucker also mentioned Comcast’s acquisition, which will see him leave the company once completed:

At the same time we are notching these business successes, our transition teams are hard at work preparing for the new NBC Universal. We’re on track for a close of the transaction with Comcast, hopefully by the end of the year. As I’m sure you know, the timing will ultimately be determined by the FCC and the Department of Justice. We’ll have a clearer idea about timing as we get into November.