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NBCUniversal Chief Steve Burke Extends Contract Through 2020

Steve Burke has extended his contract and will remain in place as NBCUniversal CEO for another four years, according to regulatory filings.

His initial deal with NBCUniversal’s parent company Comcast was set to expire in 2018. The new agreement takes Burke through August of 2020.

Burke has been with Comcast since 1998, rising to become chief operating officer of the cable giant. He is known as a no-nonsense manager, who expects employees to meet his marching orders. He is also seen as closely aligned with Comcast chief Brian Roberts.

After Comcast acquired NBCUniversal from General Electric in 2011 he was tasked with overseeing the film, television, and theme park company. Under his command, NBC’s broadcast ratings have stabilized on the back of NFL Football and “The Voice.” The company’s “Today” franchise has enjoyed a resurgence against rival “Good Morning America. Theme park revenues have climbed on the success of the “Harry Potter” attraction. On the film side, the company enjoyed its biggest year ever in 2015, fueled by hits such as “Furious 7” and “Jurassic World.”

There have been difficulties, of course, with the company’s cable properties hit by industry-wide ratings declines. MSNBC is currently lagging behind CNN and Fox News, and is attempting to attract more viewers by rejiggering its daytime lineup.

In the filing, Comcast lauds Burke’s “continuing outstanding work in improving NBCUniversal’s businesses and results.” Under his pact, Burke will receive a stock option valued at $10 million, that will fully vest by August 2023.

Prior to joining Comcast, Burke worked at Disney, helping to create the Disney Stores and serving as president of ABC Broadcasting.

Brian Steinberg contributed to this report.

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