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Comcast taps lobbying chief in D.C.

Kyle McSlarrow named President, Comcast/NBC Universal, Washington D.C.

Comcast said Wednesday that it has tapped the top lobbyist for the cable industry to oversee public policy for its cable biz and NBC-Universal as well as work on operational issues for its Washington, D.C.-area systems.

Kyle McSlarrow, CEO of the NCTA since 2005, will report to exec VP David Cohen, who has worked on public policy issues as well. McSlarrow’s title will be president, Comcast/NBCUniversal, Washington D.C.

“Kyle has been a tremendous leader and tireless advocate for the cable and media industry in Washington, D.C. He is widely respected throughout the industry for his leadership, deep understanding of the cable and programming business, and ability to manage the interest of a broad spectrum of major corporations,” Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said.

McSlarrow will also lead efforts to extend Comcast’s business services to federal and state governments.

Before the NCTA, McSlarrow served as deputy secretary of the U.S. Dept. of Energy during the George W. Bush administration and as a top government affairs exec at Grassroots.com, an Internet company selling Web-based political services. In 2000, he served as chairman of Dan Quayle’s presidential bid.

Of course, Comcast has become quite familiar with Washington after an intensive, yearlong regulatory review of its proposed joint venture with NBC-Universal, which was approved and closed earlier this year. Issues that will surely continue to be on the front burner for McSlarrow will be potential regulations surrounding Net neutrality and retransmission negotiations with the broadcast networks.

The National Cable and Telecomunications Assn. has not named a successor as CEO. A search is under way, a spokesman said.