Burke, 52, will succeed
assumes control of NBC Universal, which is expected to happen late this
year or early 2011. The two companies are awaiting the federal
government’s approval of their
The naming of Burke as CEO was expected. Zucker —
who since 2007 has been running the sprawling media empire that owns
such assets as the
Burke, a longtime
since 1998, will face substantial challenges. He must navigate a
suddenly bulked-up media company through a digital revolution, which is
threatening to undermine the long-established economics of the media
business. Burke will have to determine whether Universal movies should
be released earlier on DVD, video on demand and online services, which
could hurt movie theater owners. He also must decide whether
But first he must assemble his own team without alienating key
During the last nine months, Burke has been meeting
with senior executives and working to create a more streamlined
management structure for NBC Universal — an endeavor that has put
executives what their futures might be, but he has said that he will
have his team assembled and ready to go as soon as the deal closes.
Burke prides himself as being a straight shooter who
dislikes the drama of office politics or underlings who seek the media
spotlight. Among his top priorities will be to establish a more
toned-down culture at NBC Universal, which has a string of able
executives, many with big egos.
Burke was not available Sunday, a
the nation’s largest cable provider, in addition to being the CEO of
NBC Universal. The media company will remain headquartered in
“Steve is one of the most well-respected executives
in the industry, and I am confident that he will lead NBCU forward to a
new era of growth,”
People who know Burke say that he has been training
for his new role for much of his life. Burke comes from a prominent
business family. His father,
Burke earned an MBA from the
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