Nellie Andreeva

Comcast is clearing the way for its pending announcement of the new NBC Universal top executive structure. Jeff Gaspin, who had felt more and more as the odd man out in Comcast’s plans for the post-merger NBCU, just sent out a note to NBC Universal employees announcing that he will depart the company following its merger with Comcast after he and new NBCU CEO Steve Burke “could not agree on an appropriate role” for him in the new company. Gaspin had 4 years left on his contract, which was breached by the merger and Burke replacing Jeff Zucker. Gaspin was furious when a report last week claimed he was gone because it wasn’t true: in fact the two men hadn’t made that decision yet even though everyone guessed that’d be the ultimate conclusion because it’s known that Burke wants to decrease the media company’s layers of management. Gaspin has spent a combined 19 years at NBCU, most recently as chairman of NBC Universal TV Entertainment. “I want to thank Jeff for his many significant contributions to NBCU and for his professionalism throughout the integration process,” Burke said in a statement. After sending the memo (text below), Gaspin gathered his senior executive team for an emotional meeting.

Even though there has been much speculation in the press I wanted you to hear directly from me.

During the course of the Comcast/GE merger, I’ve had many good conversations with Steve Burke about my role at the new NBC Universal. Under the current structure, all of the television entertainment assets including cable, broadcast, and distribution report to me.

As is his prerogative, Steve has determined that he wants to move in a different direction and given the scope of my current responsibilities, we could not agree on an appropriate role for me in the new company.  Therefore I will be departing NBC Universal a short time after the merger.

I have spent a combined 19 years at NBC Universal and have had numerous positions in finance, news, cable, and broadcast. While we have had our challenges on the entertainment broadcast side, I am proud of the progress we have made and the tremendous success of our outstanding cable assets, our strong distribution divisions and our market-leading digital innovation.  It’s with great pride and appreciation I was able to participate in many of these successful ventures.

I leave NBC Universal with an obvious sense of sadness and loss, but I’ll be forever grateful for my relationships with my colleagues and those who gave me a chance to participate in the success of this great company.  It’s been an exhilarating ride – and I thank you for sharing it with me.

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