WASHINGTON — Kyle McSlarrow, who has been dividing his time between policy and operations as head of the Washington, D.C., office of Comcast and NBCUniversal, is moving into the operations side full time, fulfi lling a long telegraphed desire to run cable systems.
Confirming a report on multichannel.com, Comcast last week announced that, effective immediately, McSlarrow would be regional vice president of Comcast’s West division, overseeing cable systems in Utah and Arizona. He will report to Steve White, president of the West division, and be based in Salt Lake City.
“We’re delighted Kyle will now be turning all of his attention to our business operations, which has been a goal of his since he came to Comcast,” Comcast executive vice president David Cohen said. Cohen had been the MSO’s top public-policy executive and will now be the direct report for the D.C. office, which includes former Federal Communications Commission commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker, senior VP, government affairs for NBCUniversal.
McSlarrow said when he left the National Cable & Telecommunications Association a year and a half ago that he was looking to get into cable operations.
In an interview with Multichannel News in fall 2010, McSlarrow had suggested he was looking for a bit of a career switch. “[W]hen I first met with the [NCTA] search committee, which basically is the executive committee, I said at the outset that my long-term goals were to be on the business side, and I see this as a great transitional job, but I don’t see this as a permanent job,” McSlarrow said at the time.
A number of sources confirmed McSlarrow had continued to talk about wanting to move into operations, and one inside Comcast said he had sought the post and was “thrilled” when the opportunity came up. That source said another factor was that a similar regional operations post was not expected to open up for a couple of more years.
The Salt Lake City move spurred new speculation about McSlarrow as a possible candidate for FCC chairman in a Romney Administration.
Dan Issett of the Parents Television Council posted on Twitter that the move seemed curious “unless, of course, he wants to be seen as a ‘D.C. outsider’ should he be looked at as FCC chair.”
McSlarrow has been an informal adviser to the Romney campaign on telecom and energy policy issues, Multichannel News confirmed with a source close to McSlarrow last week, but the source said speculation about an FCC post — his name came up from someone close to the Romney transition team — was off -base.