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NBC Universal Chairman Jeff Zucker to Step Down When Comcast Deal Closes

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood September 24, 2010 at 3:23AM

It's official. In a staff memo, NBC Universal chairman Jeff Zucker, 45, announces that he will leave his post when the Comcast takeover of NBC Universal is complete, probably by year's end, reports the NYT. The writing had been on the wall for some time. Zucker admitted that Comcast wants to bring in their own management team. NBC is the only place Zucker has ever worked, for 24 1/2 years. He tells the NYT he's a producer at heart; his happiest time was producing The Today Show. And yes, Zucker is interested in politics.
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Thompson on Hollywood

It's official. In a staff memo, NBC Universal chairman Jeff Zucker, 45, announces that he will leave his post when the Comcast takeover of NBC Universal is complete, probably by year's end, reports the NYT. The writing had been on the wall for some time. Zucker admitted that Comcast wants to bring in their own management team. NBC is the only place Zucker has ever worked, for 24 1/2 years. He tells the NYT he's a producer at heart; his happiest time was producing The Today Show. And yes, Zucker is interested in politics.

His exit plan was finalized after he met with Comcast COO Steve Burke last week:

“We had both gotten to the same place. He made it clear that they wanted to move on at the close of the deal and I was completely comfortable with that.”

Meanwhile, still running the Universal studio is ultimate survivor Ron Meyer, the wily ex-CAA agency chief and steely ex-marine, who has successfully run Universal Pictures as president and COO through three owners over 15 years, the longest-serving studio chief in Hollywood today.

Here's Time's instant analysis.

This article is related to: Studios, Players, TV, Universal/Focus Features


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.