Ouster of NBC Sports Icon Ebersol Sends a Message About Comcast Corporate Culture

May 24, 2011  •  Post A Comment

The departure last week of NBC Sports Group Chairman Dick Ebersol was a "not-so-subtle message to other top NBCUniversal executives: Get with the program or hit the road," writes Joe Flint in the Los Angeles Times’ Company Town blog.

Ebersol isn’t a low-profile character, something that runs against the corporate culture at Comcast, which "prefers that the executives who run the company keep low profiles and let the work speak for itself," the story says.

While Ebersol was viewed as influential at NBC and had mentored many of its executives, Comcast’s top executives "viewed him as something of a know-it-all" and questioned "his willingness to be a team player," the piece adds.

The story notes that other high-profile NBC executives such as "Saturday Night Live" executive producer Lorne Michaels may need to make adjustments to fit into Comcast’s culture.


  1. Comcast “prefers that the executives who run the company keep low profiles and let the work speak for itself,”
    That must be so their customers have no one to contact regarding the crappy service they get

  2. Comcast “prefers that the executives who run the company keep low profiles and let the work speak for itself,”
    That must be so their customers have no one to contact regarding the crappy service they get

  3. Dick Ebersol will be missed. His contributions were many and he made NBC the leader in sports around the world, but times are changing and he deserves a well earned rest from the foolishness that is impacting modern television. Once the play was the thing, but now it is revenue, revenue, revenue.

  4. No Bob it has always been the REVENUE…always!! If the play didn’t make money, the play was over!!

  5. Why not let whatever works for NBC continue to work for NBC, instead of trying to force a corporate culture that may not fit with the personalities involved down everyone’s throats? If things are going poorly, experiment to your heart’s content, but dictating change because you prefer things a certain way is a surefire path to a wholesale exodus of talent.

  6. Um, let’s see Bob Loblaw, because NBC is ranked fourth in overall demos. Do you really think that as bad as things are at NBC that there is not a need for a change in corporate culture? Wholesale exodus of talent? They are the fourth ranked network with what we used to say in radio “with an anchor” soon to drop behind Univision. The problem with NBC and other networks that go through a massive change or merger is that most executives can’t make the adjustment because they want to do the same thing over and over again because that’s all they know. It’s easier to stay the course, thinking that maintaining the status quo is the way to keep your job. Those people, in the words of former GE chair Jack Welch, are basically losers. And they should fired. NBC will never turn itself around with the same ole same ole. Change is needed or the drop in audience and value will continue. Change or die. Period. New blood is necessary for NBC to survive in the new world order of Comcast and survive the future of broadcasting. All other areas of comment or thought will put NBC execs in the same place where Dick Ebersol is and that’s out of work. CBS, many years ago, had the same philosophy. You would ask, why do we manage this way? Because that’s the way we’ve always managed. Yeah that lasted for about a minute and all those execs that thought that way got fired. Where is CBS ranked today? Yeah Bob, number one.

  7. Comcast prefers that its top executives “keep a low profile and let the work speak for itself.” Hmmnnn — one then wonders why on earth they purchased NBCU!
    I understand corporate culture changes, shifts, etc but does Comcast really expect to move NBCU up the totem pole by eliminating executives who actually produce?
    Comcast was doing such a great job with its “low profile” that I dropped their service and picked up Fios. I have no intention of ever returning to Comcast and their poor service. One now has to wonder how far down NBCU will go with this new cculture shift taking shape.

  8. All old school thought Yvonne. The reason for keeping top execs in a low profile state is to keep the network about the network and not about the exec. Execs leave or die, and when the brand is built on that exec, everything below them struggles when they depart for whatever reason. It’s not about the top execs, it’s about the brand. Wharton 101. Eliminating execs that actually produce? Produce to end up ranked number 4? Seriously? “We’re number 4!! We’re number 4!!” certainly is not the chant that Comcast wants to hear from NBC. When NBC via Comcast gets the right people in place, not the ones that think they’ve earn their slot in the executive suite because they’ve been working for the network for 20 years, this network will turn itself around. They will suffer for now but the future is grand for NBC as long as they continue to shed the old school and bring in the new. By the way this is a typical and standard method of change during such a merger in business. Any person holding shares of stock are excited about the change of corporate culture taking place at NBC and see a bright future. Because any corporation that puts it brand on a single person or a few persons is destined to fail long term. Not a good business model and not going to build back the NBC brand we’re all used to seeing. The status quo no more.

  9. well, Richard DICK Ebersole was ungracious in his public persona regarding the merger, and downright arrogant in his unilateral public pronouncements wherein he just laid claim to all things sports at the new company. HIS sandbox, HIS rules, HIS people etc etc.well, we think not.
    He’s a bloviating, self centered overpaid dinosaur who started believing his own PR long ago.
    Enjoy the rest………..

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