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NBCU Names Madison Diversity Executive VP

May 10, 2007  •  Post A Comment

NBC Universal is signaling its commitment to “measurable progress” on a broad range of diversity fronts by assigning NBC veteran Paula Madison to devote all her work energies to the role of executive VP for diversity.
Ms. Madison, who will report to NBC Universal President and CEO Jeff Zucker, has been juggling the diversity leadership role and her duties as general manager of KNBC-TV in Los Angeles and regional general manager of Spanish-language stations KVEA-TV and KWHY-TV.
NBCU is said to have a strong internal candidate to succeed Ms. Madison on the stations level in Los Angeles and an announcement of that appointment may come soon.
“We are a company wholly committed to diversity and to a culture that stands for respect, tolerance, and inclusiveness,” Mr. Zucker said in Thursday’s announcement. “As one of our key business imperatives, diversity deserves the attention of a full-time dedicated executive. Paula’s experience, relationships, and understanding of these opportunities make her the right person to drive measurable progress.”
An NBCU spokesperson said that the diversity announcement was in the works well before the incident in which Don Imus’s racially inflammatory comments about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team caused NBCU to cancel MSNBC’s simulcast of the Imus radio show that would be cancelled a week later by CBS.
Ms. Madison will be the liaison between NBCU and key national and local leaders, and will be the chief spokesperson on diversity. One mandate, according to the announcement, is to make sure NBCU is an industry leader in diversity issues related to everything from ethnicity and gender identity to programming and corporate culture.
Ms. Madison became the first African American women to run a network-owned TV station in a top five market when she was named president and general manager of KNBC-TV in New York in 2000 after four years as the top news executive at WNBC-TV in New York. She added responsibility for the Telemundo TV stations in Los Angeles in April 2002. She served as senior VP of diversity from February 2000 to May 2002, and then as executive VP of diversity beginning in February 2006.

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