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NBCUniversal taps KNBC's Robinson to oversee diversity

August 4, 2011 |  9:54 am

Comcast's NBCUniversal has tapped KNBC-TV General Manager Craig Robinson as its new executive vice president and chief diversity officer.

Robinson, who will report  directly to NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke, succeeds Paula Madison, who retired from that post earlier this year.

The appointment of Robinson was one of several moves Comcast touted in a blog post about the company's commitment to diversity in its programming and its executive ranks. In May, Comcast elected Eduardo Mestre, vice chairman of Evercore Partners, to its board of directors, making him the first Latino on the cable giant's board.

As part of getting approval for its deal to acquire NBCUniversal from government regulators, Comcast made several big commitments to diversity to ease concerns of minority groups and watchdogs who are concerned that media consolidation cuts down on the number of voices in the marketplace.

To boost its hiring efforts, Comcast said that it had "five diverse recruiting firms" and that NBCUniversal added 11 such firms "spanning all ethnic groups and women."

On the programming front, Comcast said it has reviewed more than 100 proposals in the first round of its plan to launch ten independent channels over the next eight years, the majority of which will be owned and operated by African Americans or Latinos. Comcast said it would launch a Latino-owned channel next year with two African American-owned channels going live by January 2013.

-- Joe Flint