UPDATED: Comcast today held town hall meetings for NBC Universal employees in NBCU’s main outposts, New York and Los Angeles, and Comcast’s hometown Philadelphia, with remotes from Miami and London. Comcast officially unveiled the new logo for NBCUniversal (all one word) which is how it will be spelled from now on. The redesigned NBCU logo uses purple as the primary color, with the peacock and the globe both gone. However, the NBC network logo will remain unchanged, so no one should call the ASPCA in search of the beloved bird.
Brian Williams hosted the main event in New York attended by new NBCU CEO Steve Burke and 90-year-old Comcast co-founder Ralph J. Roberts who choked up giving a heartfelt speech about seeing his dream come true with the NBCU acquisition. The Los Angeles meeting went Hollywood with Ryan Seacrest, a Comcast man via his E! deal, as the host. Ralph Roberts’ son Brian was there, as well as Universal Studios president Ron Meyer and new NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt. The Philly meeting is hosted by CNBC’s Jim Cramer, with Comcast CFO Michael Angelakis and Comcast Cable head Neil Smit attending.
Overall, Burke seems to be the big winner. After coming across as a bit stiff at the previous town hall meetings when the merger was announced, this time he looked “relaxed, personable and authentic”, one attendee said. Added another, “he came across as very sincere and and enthusiastic.”
Greenblatt was asked about any management changes he is planning at NBC. He noted that he didn’t shake things up when he started in his previous job as entertainment president of Showtime and that it is a little too early for him to discuss any changes having been in the NBC job for about 2 weeks. Brian Roberts was asked about the possibility of post-merger layoffs. He didn’t give a straight answer but stressed that the company is all about growth and it has “the right people in the right places.” Meyer was gracious in his remarks towards new Comcast bosses and expressed great optimism about the combined company’s future.
Synergy between Comcast and NBCU’s assets was a big topic for Burke and Brian Robins who also emphasized Comcast’s cultural tradition of a family-owned company.
Along with a very funny Brian Williams who looked ready for an encore as a Saturday Night Live host, the latenight show’s head writer/Weekend Update anchor Seth Meyers provided comic relief. In the middle of the proceedings, the two did a skit as rival anchors which had the audience in stitches.