Paxson to Depart Paxson Communications as part of New Pact with NBCU

Nov 7, 2005  •  Post A Comment

After years of legal wrangling, NBC Universal and Paxson Communications said Monday that they have reached a pact in which Paxson founder and Chairman Lowell “Bud” Paxson will step down. He will be replaced by NBC Universal Executive VP Brandon Burgess, who will depart the media giant to assume the CEO role.

The leadership change coincides with a new agreement between the two companies in which NBCU has 18 months to either buy the troubled broadcaster or find a buyer.

The pact resolves a years-long battle between the two companies over whether Paxson must buy out NBCU’s 32 percent stake in Paxson. NBCU said Paxson was obligated to do so, while Paxson officials claimed they were not.

Federal Communications Commission rules make it unlikely that NBCU will acquire the broadcaster, which has struggled for years to find a programming strategy. However, officials of both companies believe the new agreement will enable Paxson to find new partners or investors.

Mr. Paxson’s chairman’s seat will be filled by Lawrence Patrick. Mr. Paxson will be named chairman emeritus.

Mr. Burgess will be replaced at NBCU by Bruce Campbell, who previously served as senior VP of business development. Mr. Campbell will report to Randy Falco, president of NBCU Television Networks Group.