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November 15, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Jeff Gaspin, the chairman of NBC Universal Entertainment, made it official late today: he’ll step down following the company’s merger with Comcast, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year or early next year. In a message to NBC staffers, Gaspin said: “During the course of the Comcast/GE merger, I’ve had many good conversations with [Comcast Chief Operating Officer] Steve Burke about my role at the new NBC Universal. As is his prerogative, Steve has determined that he wants to move in a different direction and given the scope of my current responsibilities, we could not agree on an appropriate role for me in the new company. Therefore I will be departing NBC Universal a short time after the merger.” Gaspin, who turns 50 next month, has spent 19 years with NBC Universal and was appointed to his present post in July 2009. Reports that Gaspin, like NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker, had been given his walking papers were leaked on the Internet last week, but were quickly denied by some NBC sources who insisted that no final decision had been made and that Gaspin had not yet met with Burke. The announcement of his departure comes on the same day that NBC announced a new midseason schedule, which includes three hours of comedy on Thursdays.