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Inside Move: Ebersol slowly gets back into groove

Exec recovering from private plane accident

Dick Ebersol is starting to work the phones again.

The NBC Universal Sports chairman is still unable to walk, colleagues said, but he is expected to return to work later this year, a positive sign for the network as it prepares for the Winter Olympic Games in Turin, Italy, starting Feb. 10, 2006.

Ebersol was gravely injured in a private plane accident Nov. 28 that took the life of his 14-year-old son Teddy.

The extent of Ebersol’s injuries hes been kept private by the family.

NBC and Ebersol have set no timetable for his return, but colleagues say he has been in touch with the two executives running NBC’s Olympic preparations — president Ken Shanzer and EVP Gary Zenkel — as preparations continue for Torino 2006.

NBC has the rights to broadcast the Olympics through 2012, including Beijing 2008, Vancouver 2010, and the 2012 summer games which have not been awarded.

Ebersol negotiated NBC’s Olympic deals and has been credited for creating the feel for NBC’s Olympic broadcasts.