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Don Browne Retiring from NBCU/Telemundo

A day after longtime NBCUniversal executive Paula Madison announced her retirement, another longtime local and network news topper is retiring.

Don Browne, who has been president of Telemundo since 2005, is leaving the company June 3 — the eighth anniversary of his arrival at the Miami-based, NBCU-owned Spanish-language network.

Browne’s TV news career began with CBS News, working his way into the Atlanta bureau in 1974. That’s where he met his wife Cuban-born, Maria Junquera. (Browne — as head of the #2 Spanish language network in the U.S., speaks little Spanish.)

Browne moved to Miami as NBC News bureau chief in 1979. 10 years later he headed to New York as executive news director and later, EVP of NBC News.

He returned to Miami in 1993 to run WTVJ, which had been acquired by NBC. He remained President and GM of WTVJ until his move to Telemundo, which had also recently been acquired by NBC.

“Don Browne has had an outstanding career as a broadcaster and executive,” said NBCU CEO Steve Burke. “We are grateful for what he has accomplished and wish him all the best on a well-deserved retirement.”

A successor to Browne will be announced in the coming months.

Press release after the jump…

PRESIDENT OF TELEMUNDO DON BROWNE
ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT FROM NBCUNIVERSAL

Ends Distinguished Career Spanning More Than 30 Years,
The Last Six as Head of Telemundo

MIAMI – April 12, 2011 – NBCUniversal executive Don Browne, who will be 68 in May, has announced his plans to retire from the company. Browne has served since 2005 as President of NBCUniversal’s Spanish-language media company Telemundo Communications Group, following an extensive career with NBC News in New York and Miami. Browne’s last day will be June 3, the eighth anniversary of his arrival at Telemundo as the network’s Chief Operating Officer.

At Telemundo, Browne had responsibility for all functions of the Telemundo television network and its 14 owned-and-operated stations, including the Programming division, Telemundo Studios, and News and Sports. In addition, he was responsible for Telemundo International and Telemundo Cable, as well as Telemundo’s Digital Media initiatives, sales, and marketing. In recent months, Telemundo has achieved record-breaking ratings, driven by the success of new original telenovela La Reina del Sur and the strength of the rest of the network’s primetime lineup.

NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke said: “Don Browne has had an outstanding career as a broadcaster and executive, from his years as a bureau chief and executive vice president of NBC News to his tenure most recently at Telemundo, which under his leadership has become an extremely exciting part of our portfolio. We are grateful for what he has accomplished and wish him all the best on a well-deserved retirement.”

Lauren Zalaznick, Chairman of NBCUniversal Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media, to whom Browne reports, added: “Don’s career has been marked by an intense passion for news and a keen eye for talent. He has long been a champion of diversity and for years has been an advocate for Hispanic media.”

A successor to Browne will be announced in the coming months. Browne began his career with the company in 1979, as NBC News’ Miami bureau chief. He was promoted to executive news director in 1989 and executive vice president of NBC News in 1991. Before joining Telemundo, he was president and general manager of WTVJ, NBC’s owned-and-operated station in Miami.

During his more than 30 years with NBCUniversal, Browne has been instrumental not only in the success of Telemundo but also of NBC News and WTVJ. As an NBC News executive, he was responsible for numerous key talent acquisitions during the late eighties and early nineties. Then, as head of WTVJ, he was instrumental in making the station the market leader in ratings and revenue. He was an early and fervent supporter of NBC’s investment in Spanish-language television and played a key role in the company’s 2001 acquisition of Telemundo. Over the course of his career, Browne has earned a national reputation for mentoring and for furthering the goals of diversity in the media industry.

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