Gaspin confirmed his coming departure, post-Comcast merger, in a memo to staffers on Monday afternoon. He’ll leave the company after a transitional period similar to the time table for NBC U CEO Jeff Zucker’s departure.
“During the course of the Comcast/GE merger, I’ve had many good conversations with Steve Burke about my role at the new NBC Universal,” Gaspin wrote. “As is his prerogative, Steve has determined that he wants to move in a different direction and given the scope of my current responsibilities, we could not agree on an appropriate role for me in the new company. Therefore I will be departing NBC Universal a short time after the merger.”
Gaspin noted that under the current setup, all of NBC U’s TV entertainment assets — including cable, broadcast, and distribution — report to him.
It’s understood that under the new NBC U structure, incoming entertainment topper Bob Greenblatt will report to Burke, as will cable toppers Bonnie Hammer and Lauren Zalaznick.
Gaspin departs after spending a combined 19 years at NBC Universal — including nearly ten years in his most recent tenue.
“While we have had our challenges on the entertainment broadcast side, I am proud of the progress we have made and the tremendous success of our outstanding cable assets, our strong distribution divisions and our market-leading digital innovation,” he wrote. “It’s with great pride and appreciation I was able to participate in many of these successful ventures.”
Gaspin added that he exits NBC U “with an obvious sense of sadness and loss, but I’ll be forever grateful for my relationships with my colleagues and those who gave me a chance to participate in the success of this great company. It’s been an exhilarating ride – and I thank you for sharing it with me.”
Gaspin has served as chairman of NBC Universal Television Entertainment since July 2009, overseeing all business, creative, production, distribution and marketing aspects of NBC Universal’s television operations.
Before that, he was president and COO of NBC Universal Television Group, a gig he had held since July 2007. Under Gaspin, the company acquired Oxygen, among other business dealings. Over the past decade Gaspin has also served as president of NBC Universal Cable and Digital Content; president of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment and Cross-Network Strategy and president of Bravo.
Gaspin rejoined the Peacock in March 2001 as exec VP of alternative series, longform, specials and program strategy at NBC Entertainment, developing shows such as “Deal or No Deal,” “The Apprentice” and “Biggest Loser.”
Gaspin credits also include a stint at VH1 as exec VP of programming and production, where he created “Behind the Music.”
During his first nine years at NBC, Gaspin helped develop and launch “Dateline NBC” during his tenure as vice president of programming and development. Gaspin first joined NBC as director of finance planning.