This morning Comcast filed its first annual report with the FCC concerning its acquisition of NBCUniversal. The report updates the FCC on how it has followed through on the promises it made in order to get the deal approved. We pored through the document and pulled out some of the bits relevant to TV news.
Comcast guaranteed that NBC News and the local news stations would have journalistic independence from its corporate owners. Comcast reveals that NBC News ombudsman David McCormick expanded his responsibilities last year to include a role as counsel to all NBCU units that conduct newsgathering. It also highlighted the hiring of Kevin Keeshan to serve as an ombudsman for the local stations.
The company also formulated a specific policy for news independence, forbidding Comcast employees from interfering in NBC News operations, and guaranteeing NBC News employees that they are free to report on Comcast however they wish. A copy of that statement is below.
Relationships with Outside Networks
Comcast revealed that it plans on expanding its carriage of international cable news channel BBC World News in 2012. So far international cable news channels have failed to gain much distribution in the U.S., but by adding the BBC channel to a number of new markets, Comcast may provide it with enough of a footprint to help it gain distribution on other carriers.