Comcast takeover brings up concerns about NBC news divisions

Janet Babin Jan 29, 2011
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Comcast takeover brings up concerns about NBC news divisions

Janet Babin Jan 29, 2011
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TEXT OF STORY

JEREMY HOBSON: As of today, NBC Universal becomes a division of the nation’s largest cable company, Comcast. The long awaited deal will force a lot of changes, including the removal of the famous peacock from the NBC Universal logo. And some watchdog groups are concerned that the takeover could compromise NBC’s news operations.

Marketplace’s Janet Babin reports.


JANET BABIN: Comcast runs E! Entertainment, Style, and the Versus sports channel. With the merger, it will also oversee MSNBC, “The Today Show,” “Meet the Press,” and 10 TV stations NBC owns around the country. Consumer groups point out Comcast has little experience running news networks.

Editor Matthew Belloni at the Hollywood Reporter says the concern is that money spent on news and public affairs will now be diverted elsewhere.

MATTHEW BELLONI: Maybe they’re going to go for sports, try to put big sporting events on their Versus network, so they can try to build that up and create a competitor to ESPN.

In a statement, NBC Universal said its stations have committed to expanding news programming. And it said, Comcast does not and will not run the news division; NBC News will.

I’m Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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