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Zucker’s Promotion Positions Him as Wright Successor

Dec 15, 2005  •  Post A Comment

NBC Universal is reshaping the NBC Universal Television Group, with Jeff Zucker promoted from president to CEO and Randy Falco reporting to him as president and chief operating officer.

The announcement was made Thursday afternoon by Bob Wright, vice chairman of General Electric and chairman and CEO of NBC Universal.

Mr. Zucker’s promotion immediately revived questions about whether he is being groomed as an eventual successor to Mr. Wright, who joked that the Zucker promotion “absolutely” sets the stage for Mr. Zucker to replace him someday. Mr. Wright followed up by saying, “Jeff has a lot of responsibility in some key areas. I hope he does the best possible job in this leadership position for a long time to come.”

Filling the newly created role of president of NBC Universal Digital Media and market development will be Beth Comstock. Ms. Comstock has worked closely with Mr. Zucker as head of NBC News communications and then as head of NBC corporate communications before moving to GE.

Of all the executives involved in the sweeping realignment, only Mr. Zucker and Ms. Comstock will report directly to Mr. Wright. Mr. Falco and NBC Sports and Olympics Chairman Dick Ebersol, both of whom previously reported to Mr. Wright, now will report to Mr. Zucker, as will the television studio, network, news, CNBC, MSNBC and cable entertainment operations.

Reporting to Ms. Comstock will be digital media, strategic marketing and TV research, advertising, promotion and communications. Reporting to Mr. Falco will be NBCU’s owned-and-operated television stations, worldwide television distribution, international channels, Telemundo, business development, Media Works, sales and cable distribution.

Jay Sherman contributed to this report.