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Posts Tagged ‘Steve Burke’

NBC May Break Even On Olympics

NBCUniversal was expecting to lose upwards of $100 million during its coverage of the 2012 London Olympics. NBC paid the International Olympic Committee $1.2 billion for exclusive TV rights, and while it expected to do well, it was not expecting to recoup all of the money it spent.

This morning however, during Comcast’s quarterly earnings call, the company revealed that thanks to stronger than anticipated ratings, NBC may break even on the games.

The Los Angeles Times has details:

“We are off to a very, very successful start,” NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke said Wednesday morning during Comcast’s second-quarter earnings call. “We think London is going to be right around break-even. We are way ahead of where we thought we would be.”

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Pat Fili-Krushel Named Chairman of NBCUniversal News Group

Changes in the executive suite at NBCUniversal today.

Pat Fili-Krushel who joined NBC when Comcast took over, will now oversee a new unit called the NBCUniversal News group comprised of NBC News, CNBC, MSNBC, The Weather Channel and all their digital properties.

The presidents of those divisions, including NBC News president Steve Capus and CNBC president Mark Hoffman will now report to Fili-Krushel. MSNBC president Phil Griffin continues to report to Capus.

Fili-Krushel (left) joined NBCU from Time Warner where she was executive vice president of administration. At NBCUniversal she had overseen human resources, operations and business strategy but those responsibilities will be reassigned to other members of the senior executive team.

Before Time Warner, Fili-Krushel was with ABC where she ran the ABC TV network, including ABC News. This was during the same time NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke was at the company. At ABC, insiders say, Fili-Krushel was Burke’s “fixer” and he may be closer to her than any executive at NBCU.

Hoffman and Capus will continue to serve on Burke’s executive committee.

In an email to employees, obtained by TVNewser, Burke writes, “This new division is designed to enhance collaboration among our news brands,” adding, “I am confident that placing all of these assets into one group will accelerate their growth, individually and collectively.”

Burke’s note after the jump…

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Cash, Cramming and Ann Curry During NBC London Olympics Press Conference

We are 30 days from the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, and in a press conference held in the “Saturday Night Live” studio in New York, and on a conference call with reporters today, network executives and Olympics primetime host Bob Costas explained what they have planned for games.

“If you work in television, particularly in sports television, this is really the pinnacle and this is really the time everyone starts feeling the butterflies and starts getting amped up for the challenge ahead,” said Jim Bell, the EP of the London Olympics, as well as NBC’s “Today.”

Some statistics from NBCU: There will be 5,536 hours of live coverage across nine TV channels and online via authenticated streaming. NBCU has 75,000 square feet of space in the International Broadcast Centre in London, and will have 3,000 staffers to cover the games, produce “Today” and “Nightly News,” etc. Around 200 million Americans are expected to tune in to part of the games over 17 days, which underscores just how big a deal the games are for NBCU owner Comcast. Comcast spent $30 billion to secure the U.S. TV rights to the Olympic games through 2020.

That massive deal means that, at least for the upcoming games, the Olympics will be a loss leader.

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It’s Official: Ryan Seacrest Tapped as NBC ‘Today’ Correspondent As Part of Overall NBCU Deal

As expected, Ryan Seacrest is joining NBC News as a “special correspondent” for NBC News, including on “Today.”

Seacrest will continue as the managing editor of E! News, as well as E!’s red carpet host, though his regular hosting duties will likely be cut back. Instead, Seacrest will serve as a “special correspondent” for “Today” and “contributes to NBC primetime news and produces and contributes to NBC entertainment programming.” He will also–as previously announced–serve as a correspondent during NBC’s coverage of the 2012 London Olympics.

Seacrest’s deal is so big, that NBCU CEO Steve Burke was the one quoted in the press release.

“Ryan is an extraordinary talent who has been an important part of the Comcast family for a long time,” Burke said in a statement. “We look forward to his continued role on E! and to having him appear on many new places across NBCUniversal, including the TODAY show and at the Olympics. This is a great example of how NBCUniversal is able to provide the perfect home for some of the best people in the business.”

Last year, the rumor was that Matt Lauer was going to leave “Today,” and Seacrest came up as a possible replacement. As we reported at the time, he was widely expected to land some sort of role on the NBC morning show, even if it was not as an anchor.

More information below.

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At CPJ Gala, Dan Rather Criticizes Corporate Media, While Comcast CEO Brian Roberts Promises Journalistic Independence For NBC News

Last night the Committee to Protect Journalists held its annual gala at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City. The bulk of the event was to honor journalists who risked their lives to cover the news, and along the way a few well-known faces showed up. In addition to the international award recipients, Mansoor al-Jamri of Bahrain, Javier Valdez Cardenas of Mexico, Umar Cheema of Pakistan and Natalya Radina of Belarus, former “CBS Evening News” anchor Dan Rather accepted a lifetime achievement award, while Comcast CEO Brian Roberts accepted his first public award since his cable company acquired NBCUniversal.

In his speech, Rather set his sights squarely on corporate media–of which Roberts is clearly a part– and sent a message to journalists to not forget their heritage. He was introduced by First Amendment lawyer James Goodale, who began by defending Rather’s report on former President George W. Bush‘s military service. “All the facts in that particular program were substantially correct,” Goodale said. “He was correct.”

Questions surrounding that report led to Rather’s departure from CBS News.

“As you know, we are living in an age when big money owns everything…including the news,” Rather said. “That cash bought a lot of silence for a long time. Enough time for unchecked power to get this country tangled into messes all around the world. We all know that money talks. But, so do the people…

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Former Cap Cities/ABC President Daniel Burke Dies at 82

Daniel Burke, who led Cap Cities/ABC as its president and CEO from 1990 until his retirement in 1994, has died at the age of 82.

Burke was a giant in the media business, rising though the ranks at Capital Cities and eventually leading the company’s purchase of the ABC television network in 1986.

Burke is survived by his wife and four children, one of whom is Steve Burke, the CEO of NBCUniversal and a former president of ABC broadcasting.

More information, after the jump.

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NBC News Gives Brian Williams Newsmagazine ‘Rock Center’ a Three-Year Commitment

TV Guide‘s Stephen Battaglio checks in on NBC News’ upcoming newsmagazine “Rock Center with Brian Williams.” Along the way he reveals a number of facts about the show, such as that (as previously suggested) it will replace whichever NBC drama series flops first. Monday nights at 10 PM look like a strong possibility considering how “The Playboy Club” performed in its debut.

New NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke was behind the decision to launch a new primetime newsmag, and has made a substantial financial commitment to the show:

NBC is also hoping the ratings for Rock Center, which has a three-year commitment from the network, will be respectable enough to keep the lights on in prime time as NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt tries to replenish the schedule with scripted hits. That may not be easy for a serious newsmagazine. “There is no doubt in my mind they will produce an excellent show,” says a news producer at a competing network. “But 60 Minutes has an established relationship with its viewers. I’m not sure [viewers] need another one.”

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On Eve of ABC Announcement, Details of Negotiations Between Katie Couric and Networks Emerge

Later today, ABC is expected to announce a deal with former “CBS Evening News” anchor Katie Couric. The centerpiece will be a syndicated program–in which Couric owns a stake–as well as a presence on the ABC News platforms, both before her show debuts and on an ongoing basis.

This morning the New York Times and Wall Street Journal both have stories highlighting the pitches that were given to Couric, and what went into choosing ABC as the final suitor.

The Times leads with an amusing anecdote: when the NBC executives were meeting with Couric at a New York hotel, the meeting room next door was occupied by former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann and former Vice President Al Gore, whow ere announcing Olbermann’s hire on Current TV:

As they walked in, both Ms. Couric and Mr. Berger were struck by how unsettled the NBC team appeared. They soon learned why.

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Sky Sports Changes Story After Man U's Owen Complains

Manchester United’s Michael Owen has been frustrated by his attempts to make team England in the last few years, but he took exception to a headline on Sky Sports that read “Owen gives up on England” and went on Twitter to express his displeasure. The broadcast website, in turn, changed the headline on the story and clarified Owen’s remarks.

In the initial story (available thanks to Yahoo! Cache), the lede read,

“Manchester United striker Michael Owens admits he has given up hope of being selected for England by Fabio Capello. The 31-year-old has not featured for his country since playing in a friendly against France in March 2008.

Owen has been continually overlooked by Capello and the former Liverpool man admits he is upset by his exclusion.

“I’ve given up trying to understand,” said Owen. “I’ve not given up on England. It’s come to an abrupt stop under this manager. You’d have a better idea than me [why that is].

“I was disappointed for the first squad I missed, a little bit less for the next one and after about three or four times, I didn’t really expect to see my name,” admitted Owen.

“For the first couple of squads I looked at the players [named] and looked at what I had done. For the last dozen squads, I haven’t looked. I don’t even think about [being picked] now. Honestly.

“It’s sad, really. If I keep getting up for something, then [find out] I am not in, I am just kidding myself.

“Some people say I might get back in the England squad after Fabio Capello leaves. I hope they are right.

“It helps playing more often. I am sure it depends on who the manager is.”

Owen then went on Twitter and complained to Sky Sports, “Why are you making things up? Please show me the quote where I am supposed to have said that/Just because I don’t expect to be picked doesn’t mean I’ve given up. Another example of twisting words to get a good headline.”

Apparently Sky Sports agreed, because they not only changed the headline, they changed the lede. The new headline reads, “Owen ‘sad’ over England.” And the lede goes,

“Manchester United striker Michael Owen admits he has given up trying to understand why he is not being selected for England by Fabio Capello.

The 31-year-old has not featured for his country since playing in a friendly against France in March 2008.

Owen has been continually overlooked by Capello and the former Liverpool man admits he is upset by his exclusion.”

The NY Post’s Phil Griffin Story-Line By Line

The New York Post‘s Page Six ran a very brief item about MSNBC’s Phil Griffin. It would be a juicy item, were it not so unbelievably wrong.

Let’s look at it line by line:

Buzz that MSNBC President Phil Griffin will soon be out at the Peacock Network is so strong that he’s even had to deny it to close friends, sources say.

It is true that Griffin has been denying the rumor to friends and acquaintances, but if you had a major newspaper writing about you, your friends would be asking you about it too.

Griffin used to report to ex-NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker, but since his departure, some say NBC President Steve Capus may show Griffin the door and take control of the cable news unit.

Here is where the item goes off the rails:

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