Comcast restructures NBCU Intl.

Jeff Shell, Kevin MacLellan to run overseas biz

New NBCUniversal Intl. chief Jeff Shell is shaking up his management team, elevating three executives in a bid to streamline the division.

But that won’t include Roma Khanna, prexy of global networks and digital initiatives, who is leaving the company.

Khanna’s departure is the second major defection to hit NBCU Intl, which lost its previous president, Peter Smith, last month.

The restructuring is the first major move from Shell, who shifted over to NBCUniversal’s international business in November as part of a broader management shuffle in advance of the NBCUniversal acquisition. While the quick adjustment reflects the priority Comcast puts on continuing the combined growth of the two companies abroad, the high-profile departures required rethinking the ranks reporting to Shell.

Stepping up will be Kevin Mac-Lellan, formerly prexy of Comcast Intl. Media Group, who becomes president of international television at NBCU Intl. He will oversee sales, networks and production.

MacLellan will relocate from Los Angeles to London as part of the job, as will Belinda Menendez, formerly prexy, international TV distribution and Universal Networks Intl. She will assume some of Khanna’s responsibilities as president, international TV distribution and Universal Networks Intl.

Rowan Conn has been elevated to the new role of CFO for the division.

“My primary goal is to form our various divisions into one cohesive international business aligned with a common set of objectives, allowing our talented leaders to contribute to a unified strategic vision of future growth” Shell said in a statement.

MacLellan has spent more than two decades in the overseas TV business, rising through the ranks at Comcast’s E! Networks, which he joined in 2001, before being promoted to oversee Comcast’s international TV holdings in 2007.

Khanna, who had been at the company for three years, had overseen the expansion of NBCUI’s int-ernational webs, growing the number of channels from 14 to more than 70. A 2010 estimate of their collective footprint was 243scribers in subscribers in 150 countries. She was instrumental in arranging more co-financing deals that brought together parties from multiple territories to fund shared programming.

Khanna, who previously reported to Smith, did stints at Chum Canada and Sony Music before joining NBCUniversal.

Shell indicated he tried to keep Khanna in the fold to no avail. “Roma is an outstanding executive who has done a remarkable job of building our network business. While I had hoped she would remain part of our leadership team, I wish her much success in her future career.”

Michael Edelstein remains TV production topper. He will report to MacLellan, as will Melendez. She also reports to Rick Finkelstein.

Also unaffected by the restructure is the international film group, headed by David Kosse, international prexy of Universal Pictures.