NBC Sports Group restructures in wake of Comcast deal
Armed with lots of new toys courtesy of the Comcast-NBCUniversal merger, NBC Sports Group Chairman Dick Ebersol has put a new executive team in place to oversee his portfolio, which includes several local and national cable sports channels.
The new team is a mix of Comcast and NBC executives, and some of the appointments are intriguing, including the naming of NBC Sports communications and marketing chief as the head of the Golf Channel.
The biggest move is the hiring of Mark Lazarus, former president of Turner Entertainment Group, as president of NBC Sports Cable Group. In that role, Lazarus will be responsible for the Golf Channel, Versus and Comcast's 11 regional sports channels. At Turner, Lazarus also oversaw sports. Jon Litner, who had been president of Comcast Sports Group, will now become president of Versus and SportsNet, which is the unit that oversees the regional channels.
NBC Sports President Ken Schanzer, a longtime Ebersol lieutenant, will keep his title and be in charge of all rights negotiatons for the Sports Group. Jon Miller, another Ebersol veteran, will go from executive vice president of NBC Sports to president of programming of NBC Sports and Versus.
Interestingly, although Miller is president of programming for Versus, he will not report to Litner, the president of Versus. Instead, Miller will report to Lazarus and Schanzer.
The most surprising decision was Ebersol's tapping of Mike McCarley, currently a senior vice president of strategic marketing, promotion and communications, to president of the Golf Channel. McCarley, who has been an Ebersol protege for about a decade and part of his inner circle at NBC, will move from New York to Orlando, Fla., where the Golf Channel is based. The move is a big step up for McCarley, who has not had any formal operating experience.
Out in the reshuffling is Jamie Davis, who had been president of Versus. In its announcement of the moves, the company said Davis will "assess potential roles within the Comcast family."
-- Joe Flint