Comcast COO Burke takes top spot at NBC Universal

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - September 26, 2010

Comcast Corp. and General Electric Co., which currently owns NBC, said Sunday that Burke will work with Zucker during the transition. Zucker said last week that he would be stepping down after the change in control, telling employees in an e-mail that he understood the new owners would want to have one of their own at the helm.

Comcast and GE said they will make no other announcements about structure or personnel until timing for the deal's completion is certain.

The 52-year-old Burke first joined Philadelphia-based Comcast in 1998 as president of Comcast Cable. He also has been president of ABC Broadcasting and president and chief operating officer of Euro Disney SA.

The possibility of a change-in-command had been looming since last December, when Comcast agreed to buy a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal from Fairfield, Conn.-based GE. That deal, worth $13.75 billion, still hasn't cleared regulatory hurdles, but is expected to be completed around the end of the year.

Burke inherits a struggling fourth-place network. Its news division and late-night programming have remained strong but its prime-time lineup has weakened since its 1990s dominance in the "Must-See TV" era of comedy hits "Friends" and "Seinfeld."

NBC Universal owns the NBC and Telemundo television networks along with 26 TV stations; cable channels USA, Bravo, Oxygen, Syfy, CNBC and others; the Universal Pictures movie studio and Focus Features; theme parks in California, Florida and Japan; and has part ownership of online video site Hulu.

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