Paving the way for Jeff Shell’s expected arrival to manage Comcast Corp.’s networks, the top cable company last week promoted Amy Banse and essentially put her in charge of developing content across all platforms — video, video on demand and broadband.
Banse was named senior vice president of content development for Comcast and executive vice president of content development for its MSO, Comcast Cable Communications Inc.
NEW DUAL ROLE
In this dual role, Banse reports to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and Steve Burke, the corporation’s chief operating officer and Comcast Cable’s president.
Previously, Banse served as Comcast’s vice president of programming investments and executive vice president of its programming-investments division.
With the promotion, Banse becomes the first woman to hold the post of corporate senior vice president at Comcast. The step up the ladder will broaden her responsibilities, in that she will be charged with developing content for all of Comcast’s platforms, not only traditional video, but also video on demand and broadband, according to a Comcast spokesman.
“For years, Amy has been the driving force behind our growing content business,” Roberts said in a statement. “Steve and I look forward to working with Amy as we expand our cable channels, VOD offerings and broadband content in the future.”
The announcement answered industry speculation as to whether Banse would report to Shell when he comes on board as Comcast’s programming czar.
Shell, who left as CEO of Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. last month, is expected to join Comcast as the top executive who’ll actually operate and manage its content portfolio. Comcast owns or has investments in networks such as E! Entertainment Television, Style, The Golf Channel, Outdoor Life Network, G4TechTV, TV One and four regional Comcast SportsNet channels.
Banse’s role at Comcast hasn’t been so much to run its networks, but to develop new cable networks and find programming services for the company to finance.
With Shell on board, Comcast is expected consolidate some of the operations for its varied networks. Comcast has declined to comment on whether Shell is joining the company.
According to a Gemstar securities filing, Shell signed papers Dec. 9 agreeing not to “sign an employment agreement with another entity, or make an announcement of any intention to do so, until after Jan. 8.”
Several sources said that Shell wouldn’t actually join Comcast until May, since he has to be available to consult for Gemstar until April 29, when his contract with the interactive-guide company would have expired.
Banse joined Comcast in 1991 as an in-house attorney responsible for programming acquisitions.