Report: Comcast Eyes Ex-Showtime Boss to Lead NBCU

As Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) awaits regulatory approval for its NBC Universal deal, the cable giant is reportedly planning to tap former Showtime boss Robert Greenblatt as NBCU’s new CEO.

According to the New York Post, Comcast is preparing to put a new regime in place sometime in October or November before it closes on the deal to take a majority stake in NBCU, which includes NBC, Universal Studios, CNBC and cable networks like USA.

Greenblatt, a former executive vice president of primetime at News Corp.’s (NASDAQ:NWSA) FOX, earlier this year denied talking to Comcast about leading NBC. News Corp. is the parent of both FOX Business and the New York Post.

If Greenblatt is chosen to succeed current NBCU CEO Jeff Zucker, he would have beaten out Ted Harbert, who runs Comcast’s cable entertainment business that includes E! Entertainment and Style and was once chairman of Disney’s (NYSE:DIS) ABC Entertainment.

Zucker, who joined NBCU 24 years ago and has had a mixed track record, is expected to bow out once the deal closes, the Post reported. Senior NBC execs Bonnie Hammer and Lauren Zalaznick are expected to stay on and split cable entertainment duties. Likewise, NBC News President Stave Capus and NBC Olympics chief Dick Ebersol are expected to stick around, the Post reported.

Comcast is also expected to give Universal chief Ron Meyer “some breathing room” despite the studio’s recent troubles, the paper reported.

Comcast and General Electric (NYSE:GE) inked a deal earlier this year that will give the cable giant majority control of a joint venture housing NBCU. Regulatory approval is expected before the end of the year.

Shares of Comcast were inactive ahead of Friday’s close. GE’s stock climbed 0.62% to $16.33.