In news that many saw coming, Jeff Zucker has officially announced that he will be leaving the position of CEO at NBC once the takeover by Comcast is complete, which could be as soon as the end of the year. Just like that, 24 years of dedication to the giant company ends once the Comcast purchase from GE is finalized. In an email sent to NBC Universal staff early Friday, Zucker said that “it has not been an easy or a simple decision,” but “it is clear to me that this is the right decision for me and for the company.” He went on to say that “Comcast will be a great new steward, just as GE has been, and they deserve the chance to implement their own vision,” and that he is “proud that they will inherit a company in very good shape, with almost every one of our divisions enjoying their best year ever.”
Zucker told the New York Times that Comcast made it clear that they were ready to move on and that his departure from the company was involuntary. Zucker’s reputation has gone up and down with the roller-coaster ride over at NBC. Zucker was responsible for the decision to turn over The Tonight Show to Conan O’ Brien, and he was behind moving Jay Leno to primetime. Zucker was also responsible for the loss of Kevin Reilly, now runner at Fox and the man responsible for Glee, TV’s top-rated program in the coveted demographics.
Though Zucker may be remembered for the aforementioned decisions, he is also responsible for the internet giant “network” Hulu, where viewers can watch on-demand episodes of their favorite shows online for free. He is also behind the push to build the company’s cable networks (Bravo, USA, Oxygen, and CNBC) into the giants they are today. Jeff Zucker will always have his heart with NBC. “I don’t know yet what my future will bring … I haven’t even begun to think about the next chapter…I love NBC Universal and always will.” As for his replacement … that is yet to be seen.