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Comcast's first act as NBC Universal's new owner is to demote the peacock

January 27, 2011 | 12:31 pm

NBCUniversal-W

NBC's proud peacock won't be strutting quite so much.

One of Comcast Corp.'s first acts, as it takes control of NBC Universal this week, was to pluck the colorful peacock from the corporate logo.

NBCUCORPlogo The peacock, which has been NBC's mascot since 1956, will continue to unfurl on air as the symbol of the NBC broadcast network and cable news channels MSNBC and CNBC. So most viewers won't recognize the bird's abrupt downgrade.

Since 2004, when NBC acquired the Universal assets, the NBC Universal logo has been a peacock within a circle to signify the merged companies: NBC (the peacock), and the spinning planet that has long been Universal's logo. 

"It seemed kind of busy," NBC Universal Chief Executive Steve Burke told employees during a town-hall meeting Thursday afternoon in New York, which was moderated by NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams. 

Outgoing NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker struggled to deemphasize the importance of peacock broadcast network as its fortunes plummeted during the last six years. But that was always difficult, in large part, because NBC was part of the company's name and heritage and was the logo.

Now it looks like the Peacock may be slowly shuffled off to the retirement home where it can reminiscence about the glory days with Nipper, the dog that was the mascot of RCA, a former owner of NBC.

-- Meg James

Top image: NBCUniversal's new logo and spelling, which was unveiled Thursday.

Bottom image: NBC Universal's former logo with the peacock tucked inside.

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