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Posts Tagged ‘General Electric’

Comcast Inks Five-Year Deal With Burke To Lead NBCU

Burke.jpgLess than a month after sealing its deal with General Electric to buy a controlling stake in NBC Universal, Comcast has signed a new employment contract with its COO Stephen Burke.

The new deal keeps Burke at Comcast for five more years, and he’ll oversee NBCU once the deal is completed. Burke, who is said to have helped orchestrate the NBCU deal, is earning $2.2 million a year plus a $3 million signing bonus, and he’ll “be eligible for two cash bonuses of $3 million each during the course of the contract,” Variety reported. He also earned $6 million in stock at the time of signing and will get $6 million more when the NBCU deal closes.

Not too shabby.

Comcast seals exec dealVariety

Previously: It’s Official: Comcast Acquires NBCU Stake

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FishbowlNY’s 2009 Lists: New York Media’s Biggest Business Decisions

4 times square.jpgNew York is home to some of the biggest media companies in the country, like Condé Nast, The New York Times Co., News Corp., Hearst and Time Warner, just to name a few.

This year, those companies were imperiled, struggling to survive like many other companies around the world. But as print media disputed declarations that its days were numbered, these once-great companies that made their money from print pubs were fighting hard to keep their heads above water. In order to do that they made some decisions — like bringing in new investors, closing publications and selling them off. It was in no way a big year for media deals, but there were a few. Below, our list of the biggest business stories to come out of the New York media world this year.

Bloomberg LP Buys BusinessWeek

After seeking a buyer for BusinessWeek for most of the fall, publisher McGraw-Hill finally cut a deal with Bloomberg LP, which snapped up the magazine in October. The result? Bloomberg BusinessWeek, a new vision of the mag that has a new editor and a smaller staff.

After the jump, Carlos Slim invests in the Times, classical music and the Comcast-NBCU deal.

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It’s Official: Comcast Acquires NBCU Stake

Well the big media deal that has been much talked about all fall has finally been officially announced.

This morning, Comcast and General Electric announced that they are entering a joint venture that will include NBC Universal — valued at $30 billion — as well as Comcast’s cable nets, including E!, Versus and the Golf Channel, and its regional sports networks, among other Comcast assets — with a value of $7.25 billion. Comcast will now own 51 percent of the new venture, after paying $6.5 billion to GE in cash.

Now, the deal heads to the regulators for approval, and all media watchers are looking forward to see how the government handles the first big media deal under the Obama administration. The New York Times has gotten its hands on a memo sent today from NBCU CEO Jeff Zucker to his staff. Zucker has been put in charge of the new venture, and he will be reporting to Comcast’s COO. Said Zucker:

“We expect regulatory approvals to take 9 to 12 months. So, for now, it remains business as usual. And in fact, I expect this will be the case for the vast majority of you even after the deal closes. NBC Universal will continue to be, first and foremost, a world-class content company.”

After the jump, GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt and Comcast CEO Brian Roberts in their first post-deal interview on CNBC this morning, in which they talk about their reasons behind seeking the deal, the future of their joint venture and what they think about the upcoming regulator approval process.

Read more

GE, Vivendi Reach Deal On NBCU, Paving Way For Comcast To Buy Net

Several news outlets reported last night that General Electric had reached an agreement with Vivendi to buy the remaining stake in NBC Universal that it did not yet own. This long-expected agreement now paves the way for Comcast to step in and pick up a controlling interested in NBCU from GE.

Our sister blog TVNewser has a run down of some of the coverage on the deal. Among the highlights:

- GE will reportedly buy Vivendi’s 20 percent stake in NBCU for about $5.8 billion.

- An agreement was reached after its GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt went to Paris for face-to-face negotiations with Vivendi’s CEO Jean-Bernard Levy last week.

- The 51 percent stake in NBCU that Comcast has been eying is valued at about $30 billion

- If the GE-Comcast deal doesn’t close by the end of next year, GE has agreed to pay Vivendi an additional $2 billion.

Read more: General Electric, Vivendi Agree On NBCU Stake, Paving Way for Comcast Deal –TVNewser

Previously: Zucker To Lead Comcast-NBCU Venture

Air America Offices Get Checked For Bed Bugs

We made have found it hilarious when fake General Electric exec Jack Donaghy was plagued by bed bugs on “30 Rock” two weeks ago, but it’s no joke that the nasty critters have infected more than one media company in New York, including publishers, ad agencies and Fox News.

But just in case you thought the biting beasts had any political affiliation, we assure you they are equal opportunity insects, now setting their sites on progressive radio and Web news outlet Air America. We’ve heard from a few tipsters that employees from the company’s New York offices are working from home today as the space gets thoroughly checked for a possible infestation. We’re hearing that the source of the scare was one suspicious bug found in a tenant’s space that shares a floor with Air America.

Let’s hope it’s just a scare, since bed bugs are no joke: Fox News‘ infestation resulted in an employee lawsuit. However, in this case we hear that Air America has been very cautious and keeping their staff informed about what’s going on.

Clark: FNC Made A Lot Of Mistakes In Dealing With Bed Bug Infestation –TVNewser

Zucker To Lead Comcast-NBCU Venture

zucker2.jpg If Comcast ends up with a controlling interest in General Electric-owned NBC Universal, it looks like NBCU CEO Jeff Zucker will be staying on to lead the new venture.

Reuters reports, citing unnamed sources:

“Under the terms being discussed, Zucker will lead the new entity, with no clauses for him to leave after a specific period, the sources said on Tuesday…There has been a lot of speculation about who would head the new company, especially since Peter Chernin — the former president of News Corp. — has been advising Comcast.

The sources said Zucker would be chief executive, but no decisions had been made on what role Chernin might play, if any. Discussions about what the new board would look like are ongoing, the sources said.”

Comcast has been in talks to purchase a controlling interest in NBCU for a number of weeks, and a deal is expected to be announced soon. By keeping Zucker on, it looks like Comcast is putting its faith in him. But can NBC’s recent ratings challenges all be chalked up to the the recently departed Ben Silverman?

Zucker to head new NBCU-Comcast venture — sources –Reuters

Earlier: Comcast Purchase of NBCU Stake A Done Deal?

(Photo via)

Comcast, GE Close To Deal On NBCU|WaPo Newsroom Fight|Time Inc.’s Vivek Shah Departs|Gannett’s New Guidelines|Business Press Struggles|Jay Leno

TVNewser: Comcast is coming close to closing its deal with General Electric over NBC Universal. An announcement might come as soon as this week.

FishbowlDC: Rumble in the Washington Post newsroom: Henry Allen punched Manuel Roig-Franzia in the face last night.

PaidContent: Time Inc.‘s Vivek Shah is leaving the company after 15 years.

Editor & Publisher: Gannett has issued a list of priorities to its papers’ editors, asking them to beef up investigative reporting, reposition Web sites for breaking news, and better engage young readers and Sunday readers.

New York Times: David Carr mourns the loss of the business press. Another casualty of the recession.

Broadcasting & Cable: An exclusive Q&A with Jay Leno. He talks about the negative press he’s received recently and what’s it’s like to work at NBC: “I find there’s a lot of anger at NBC. But it’s like I say to the people who write the dramas: If I weren’t doing this, it would be “Dateline” five nights a week or reality shows. We’ve kept work in California, we have 22 WGA writers, but there’s always going to be anger and resentment. The last couple of weeks I’ve seen some articles that are a little more, ‘It’s not Jay’s fault, its NBC’s fault,’ and that’s OK, I get it. But when your name’s on the thing, you take the hit and that’s fine.”

Meghan McCain|Publicist Poll|Dubow Returns To Gannett|Robinson Visits Boston|NBCU Improves Earnings

WebNewser: Meghan McCain fights back against comments about her breasts in a Twitter pic with a column on The Daily Beast.

PRNewser: Interesting poll: Which Tactic Did You Employ the Last Time You Released Big News? 48 percent say “Posted on a wire and pitched the release.”

The New York Times: Craig Dubow has returned to lead Gannett, after taking a four-month break following back surgery.

Boston Globe: New York Times Co. CEO Janet Robinson visited Boston yesterday, thanking employees of The Boston Globe for helping to improve the financial status of the paper, making it possible for the company to maintain ownership of it.

All Things Digital: NBC Universal showed some improvement over previous quarters when owner General Electric reported its third quarter results earlier today. This should make Comcast investors happy.

Immelt and NBC Want More Media — While It’s Cheap

immelt.jpgGeneral Electric, which owns NBC Universal among other media entities, wants to find more media buys, GE chief executive Jeff Immelt told the Financial Times via Hollywood Wiretap.

Immelt said the company had the resources to capitalize on bargains as it wades through the current economic downturn.

The comments are a sign that the economic crisis has not shaken General Electric’s confidence in NBC Universal, opines the FT.

“There are going to be some opportunities in media consolidation, in infrastructure, oil and gas, aviation,” Immelt said. “And my hope is that we can play in some of those as time goes on.”

Is iTunes In Trouble?

jos.jpegFirst Vivendi shifted its weight away from Mr. Jobs, and now NBC is following suit. Rivals from MTV and Amazon.com, EMI and Wal-Mart are also nipping at the digital music titan’s heels.

Per Reuters: NBC decided not to renew its contract with iTunes, pulling Battlestar Gallactica and Heroes from the teeny-tiny screen and becoming the second major media company to challenge Apple.

Per the The New York Times: MTV last week said it was going to fold its digital music service into a venture with the owners of the Rhapsody, “as part of a renewed challenge to Apple’s market-leading iTunes store.”

Per the Financial Times: “NBC appears to be embracing a rival. The media group, owned by General Electric, has begun to sell digital downloads through Amazon.com, the online retailer that is gearing up to challenge iTunes.”