Former NBC Employee Turned Senator ‘Very Concerned’ About Comcast/NBCU Deal

By Chris Ariens 

Minnesota Sen. Al Franken is getting the most ink this morning for his role at yesterday’s Senate Subcommittee hearing into the prposed Comcast/NBCU merger.

NBCU president Jeff Zucker and Comcast CEO Brian Roberts testified before two congressional hearings yesterday.

B&C’s John Eggerton, who live Tweeted the hearings, has a couple write-ups, including the Franken angle.

Franken, who worked with NBCU President Jeff Zucker’s wife, Karen, at Saturday Night Live, got the pleasantries out of the way quickly, saying how much he owed NBC and how super Zucker’s wife was to work with, before taking off the gloves taking aim at the deal.

In The Washington Post, Lisa de Moraes writes:

NBC’s worst nightmare came true Thursday — the other, non-Conan nightmare — when a former NBC on-air talent/producer turned senator went off on network and Comcast suits during a Senate hearing about the proposed merger of the two media behemoths.

“I worked for NBC for many years. And what I know from my previous career has given me reason to be concerned — let me rephrase that, very concerned — about the potential merger of Comcast and NBC Universal,” said Sen. Al Franken (D-MN).

NYTimes’ Brian Stelter picks up on the comments from Zucker related to maintaining broadcasting as we know it:

Comcast has made several public interest commitments and has said that the NBC broadcast network would remain free to over-the-air viewers. Jeffrey Zucker, the chief executive of NBC Universal, said Comcast’s commitments “give me greater comfort in thinking about the future of broadcasting.”