GE’s Immelt: ‘Wrong Time’ to Dump NBC Universal
General Electric Chairman and CEO: Network-Television Business Model ‘Has to Change and Will Change’
By Ben Grossman -- Broadcasting & Cable, 12/13/2007 1:48:00 PM
General Electric chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt said Wednesday that it is the “wrong time to think about” selling NBC Universal.
Speaking on CNBC’s Squawk Box, Immelt maintained that NBCU was too valuable an asset for the GE portfolio to part with despite the television network’s recent struggles in primetime.
“The company is worth more with NBC as part of it than it would be without NBC,” he added.
His comments came as Wall Street executives and media members continued to wonder if GE will jettison NBCU after next summer’s Olympics Games in China.
Immelt also said the network-television business model “has to change and will change. Anyone out there that thinks the TV-network business is going to be run the same way two years from now is crazy.”
And he claimed that GE was in a strong position to weather and even prosper from the evolution of the industry marketplace.
“The fact of the matter is that GE is better positioned to win through these changes than any competitors,” he said. “I look at NBC Universal as a good way to grow 10%-15% next year and good returns. I think this is the wrong time to think about exiting. We have good days ahead of us.”
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