In a long-awaited announcement, Comcast Corp. Thursday named former News Corp. executive Jeff Shell its first president of programming.
Shell, who stepped down as CEO of Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. in December, will assume the newly created Comcast programming president position effective May 2. He will report to chief operating officer Steve Burke.
Shell, who is also a former president of Fox Cable Networks Group, will manage a portfolio that encompasses Comcast’s growing content holdings. That group includes E! Entertainment Television, Style, G4, The Golf Channel, Outdoor Life Network, TV One, International Channel Networks, the new children’s and Sony Corp./Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. networks that are being created and regional-sports channel investments.
“Content has become an increasingly important part of our business over the past few years, and we expect to continue to expand aggressively in this area,” Burke said in a prepared statement. “Jeff has the ideal balance of experience, creativity and energy to lead these efforts, and we’re thrilled that he has agreed to come on board to manage these businesses and our future growth.”
Shell is relocating with his family from Los Angeles to Philadelphia, Comcast’s headquarters.
“Like others, I have been impressed by how Comcast has managed their rapid distribution growth through skilled operational execution, innovation and ability and willingness to compete,” Shell said in a prepared statement. “I am excited to join their team.”