NBC’s Ted Harbert Gets Seat On NAB Board

As the newly installed chairman of NBC Broadcasting, Ted Harbert will replace John Eck as the NBC representative on the NAB. Harbert is the natural choice for the job. At NBC, he is responsible for the O&Os as well as ad sales, affiliate relations and domestic syndication.

In the wake of its takeover by Comcast, NBCU is changing its representation at the National Association of Broadcasters.

Ted Harbert, chairman of NBC Broadcasting, will fill the NBC network seat on NAB’s TV board, replacing John Eck, an NBC spokesperson confirmed today. Eck remains president of NBCU’s Media Works.

A TV industry veteran, Harbert is expected to participate in the NAB board meeting slated for June 7-8 in Washington.

He assumed his NBCU post in January after Comcast closed on its purchase of a controlling interest in NBCU from General Electric. He reports directly to Steve Burke, CEO of NBCU.

Harbert was president and CEO of Comcast Entertainment Group, responsible for E! Entertainment Television, The Style Network, G4, Comcast International Media Group, Comcast Entertainment Productions, and the entertainment group’s digital properties.

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As head of NBC Broadcasting, Harbert  oversees NBCU’s Local Media Group, which includes 10 stations in 10 markets.


He is also responsible for NBC advertising sales, affiliate relations and companywide  research,  and domestic television distribution.

Harbert is no stranger to the TV broadcasting business.

He is a former president of NBC Studios. And he spent 20 years with ABC, eventually serving as chairman of ABC Entertainment.   

Last week, Comcast announced that former National Cable & Telecommunications Association President Kyle McSlarrow was joining the media giant as president, Comcast/NBCU, Washington.

Because he is heading up Comcast’s public policy office in Washington, there had been some speculation that McSlarrow might wind up on the NAB board.

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NBC’s membership at NAB has at times been rocky.

The network left NAB in 2000 after an intense intra-industry battle over a proposal to raise broadcast TV station ownership limits.

ABC, Fox and CBS also withdrew their NAB membership.

But ABC was the first to rejoin the association in 2005, followed by NBC in 2007.

At that time, Jeff Zucker, who was NBCU’s  chief  executive,  said the network’s decision to rejoin NAB was to “help give the broadcast side of our business a powerful and united voice in Washington at a time of incredibly rapid change and numerous legislative challenges.”

Last May, CBS and Fox returned to the organization also hoping to create a more united broadcasting industry front in Washington.

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Robert Feder says:

March 16, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Why do we as broadcasters allow company’s with interests in competing industry’s sit on our board? Ted Harbert certainly has the heft to qualify for the position, but his loyalty will be to Comcast Cable not the broadcasters.

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