One week to the day after Dick Ebersol resigned as chairman of NBC Sports over contract and control disagreements with his new bosses at Comcast, Ebersol’s longtime No.2, NBC Sports president Ken Schanzer, has announced his intention to retire at the end of the summer following three decades with the company.
Schanzer, 66, has been in charge of day-to-day sports operations since 1998 and played a vital role in organizing the station’s Triple Crown coverage, its 10-year contract with the NHL, and its partnerships with Notre Dame football, the PGA Tour and the NFL.
“It has been the greatest privilege of my professional career to have contributed to the growth of NBC Sports and to have worked with so many prodigious people,” said Schanzer. “It’s comforting to know that when I leave at the end of the summer, the NBC Sports Group will be in the hands of Mark Lazarus and all the talented people here who have meant so much to me throughout my career.”
Lazarus, who ascended to the role of chairman of the NBC Sports Group with Ebersol’s sudden departure, complimented Schanzer on his long and distinguished career.
“Ken, who I have known for 15 years, has been one of the most respected and influential sports-television executives of the past three decades and is a major reason that the NBC Sports Group is so well positioned for the future,” said Lazarus. “I am pleased that he will remain through the summer as I will regularly seek his counsel as I transition into my new role.”
Steve Burke, CEO of NBCUniversal, lauded Schanzer, as well.
“Ken has had an impressive career here and I am incredibly appreciative of all he has done to build NBC Sports into the formidable brand that it is today,” said Burke. “I wish him all the best in his retirement.”
(Photo: Los Angeles Times)