Jeff Gaspin, the chairman of NBC Universal's television division, has become the second high-profile executive to announce his departure from the entertainment company, indicating that he will step down after the merger with Comcast takes place.
Gaspin had previously been tight-lipped over his future at NBC's struggling television operations, but the announcement that he would be leaving had been expected. Reports that he would imminently announce his departure first surfaced in The Hollywood Reporter last week.
The Comcast deal still needs to receive regulatory approval, and has encountered some degree of resistance from lawmakers on Capitol Hill. But observers expect the merger to be approved.
In a memo to staff, Gaspin said that his departure had been agreed upon after extensive discussions with Comcast's chief operating officer, Steve Burke.
"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," Gaspin said.
Burke said that Gaspin had made "many significant contributions to NBCU" during his time at the company. Gaspin has served in his current role since July 2009, following the short but troubled tenure of Ben Silverman in the top job.
The departure of NBC's television head follows the announcement in September that Jeff Zucker, NBC Universal's chief executive, would be leaving once Comcast had completed its takeover.
NBC has been mired in fourth place among the American broadcast networks, despite the health of NBC Universal's suite of cable channels.
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