Comcast said it will appoint a
Latino to its board of directors and increase its roster of Hispanic employees,
suppliers and advisers within 24 months after taking control of NBC Universal.
The move is one of several
pledges Comcast has made through a memorandum of understanding signed with a
host of Latino organizations as it moves closer to consummating its proposed
NBC Universal joint venture with General Electric.
"Comcast recognizes that the
inclusion of Latino board members will certainly enhance the diverse voices at
the table and represent the Latino community across the entire country and in
all areas of our business," Susan Gonzales, senior director of federal and
external affairs at Comcast, told Hispanic
TV Update. Comcast's board currently consists of 13 members, one of whom is
black and one of whom is a woman.
Gonzales spoke on the heels of
authoring a comprehensive piece on the company's blog
earlier this month, which laid out Comcast's plans to boost opportunities for
Latinos after assuming control of NBCU It was also the company's most direct
response to date about concerns that the deal to give it 51% of NBCU may
In her blog posting, dated
June 30, Gonzales also stated that Comcast and NBC Universal will create a
nine-member Hispanic Advisory Council tasked with identifying and monitoring
benchmarks in several key areas: employment, procurement, programming, philanthropy
In terms of employment,
Gonzales says that Comcast and NBC Universal will also increase Latino
representation at all levels of their respective organizations, "paying
particular attention to senior management, mid-level management, entry-level
employment opportunities, and current employment levels," according to the
Reacting to the MOU, Alex
Nogales, the head of the National Hispanic Media Coalition called Comcast's
pledge "a positive first step towards diversification at [the company] and I
look forward to working with Comcast to execute its many specific and general
initiatives." However, Nogales also made it clear that such agreement is not "a
silver bullet that will repair all of the ills that media consolidation brings
Most of these commitments are
tied to the eventual approval of the merger. And Comcast executives said
diversity efforts are not limited to Latino issues.
They also cover opportunities for what the company
calls other "communities of color" including the African-American, Asian/Pacific
Islander, Native American and LGBT communities, as well as the disabled, veterans
and other groups.