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Comcast-NBCU Gets an Assist from Magic Johnson

6/07/2010 07:00:06 AM

Former Laker and Michigan State basketball great Earvin “Magic” Johnson has added his name to the roster of those
weighing in to add support to the proposed Comcast NBC Universal deal.Johnson tells House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.), who is in Los Angeles for a field hearing on the merger, that he would have been there in person but that his son is graduating and his parental duties required him to be elsewhere. Instead, he offers his testimony in a one-page letter.

Johnson praised NBCU CEO Jeff Zucker for making diversity a business imperative, saying he was one of the few
CEOs who did. Johnson was the keynote speaker at NBC Universal’s first Diversity and Inclusion Week in March: “Jeff Zucker and his executives have made it crystal clear that cultivating diversity makes good business sense in today’s demanding economy,” Johnson writes.

Johnson owns over 100 Starbucks stores and says that NBC had allowed him to compete and win NBCU’s business as manager of the Digital Cafe at 30 Rock. He also says he is exploring other opportunities with the company, which
he says will result in even more opportunities for minorities.

Johnson also says he is confident that the teaming of Comcast and NBCU will lead to more diversity and inclusion, saying the merger “can only serve our communities that much better.”

The field hearing is expected to deal extensively with diversity issues, with witnesses said to include Stan Washington of the National Coalition of African American Owned Media; Alex Nogales, National Hispanic Media Coalition; Allen Hammond IV, Broadband Institute of California, Santa Clara University; Dr. Darnell Hunt, Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA; and Kathryn Galan, National Association of Latino Independent Producers.

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