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Exclusive: TV Networks Distribution Head Bridget Baker to Leave NBCU - Broadcasting & Cable

Exclusive: TV Networks Distribution Head Bridget Baker to Leave NBCU

NBC veteran and one of CNBC founders, exec will depart the company next month after 24 years
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Bridget Baker, president of TV networks distribution for NBCUniversal, is stepping down from her post at the end of November.

NBCU's head of content distribution Matt Bond, to whom Baker reports, issued an internal memo Monday morning confirming the move: "I wanted to share the news that after a long and illustrious career with NBCUniversal, Bridget Baker will leave the company at the end of next month," Bond wrote to the staff. "Her contributions to the company and to the cable industry over the ensuing 24 years were nothing short of spectacular."

Bridget Baker

The move for Baker, a founder of CNBC who spent her career at NBCU and is credited with developing the company's cable assets from inception, comes nearly two years after NBCU's new executive structure was announced following the Comcast acquisition of the company.

Under the two-year-old structure, Bond, who prior to the Comcast-NBCU deal headed Comcast's content acquisition, was named head of content distribution, with Baker and digital distribution guru JB Perrette reporting in to Bond. Perrette, now chief digital officer at Discovery Communications, left the company  last year.

Over the past two years, Baker has worked with Bond to combine the network distribution teams that were under her at the pre-merger era NBCU and Comcast. Now that the consolidation is essentially complete, she is moving on.

"For the past two years, Bridget and I have worked closely on the strategic integration and consolidation of our team into the new NBCUniversal Content Distribution organization," Bond writes. "Today we are uniquely positioned for continued growth, in no small part because of Bridget's vision, expertise, deep relationships, and dedication. With the integration now complete, Bridget is ready to tackle a new challenge.

Baker was named NBCUniversal's first president of TV Networks Distribution in 2006.  Her oversight has included the North American distribution of NBCUniversal's content across the cable, satellite and telecommunications industry. She has been responsible for the distribution strategy and execution of a content portfolio that includes USA, Bravo, CNBC, E!, Sprout, Style Network, Syfy, The Golf Channel, MSNBC and Oxygen, the network-owned NBC and Telemundo stations, Olympic content on cable and broadband, and On Demand and set-top box content.

Baker serves on the Board of the T. Howard Foundation, and is also a director on the boards of the Cable Center at University of Denver, the CTAM Educational Foundation at Harvard Business School, CablePAC in Washington, D.C., and Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif., where she was honored in 2010 with the "Distinguished Alumni Award."  Among her honors: Baker has been honored by Women in Cable & Telecommunications, where in 2004 she received the Lifetime Achievement and Wonder Woman awards.

Bond's memo follows:

I wanted to share the news that after a long and illustrious career with NBCUniversal, Bridget Baker will leave the company at the end of next month.

Bridget joined NBC's fledgling business channel CNBC as its third employee in 1988 and one of the founders.  Her contributions to the company and to the cable industry over the ensuing 24 years were nothing short of spectacular.  Bridget transformed NBCUniversal's cable portfolio from CNBC into the formidable multi-billion dollar, multi-platform empire it is today.For the past two years, Bridget and I have worked closely on the strategic integration and consolidation of our team into the new NBCUniversal Content Distribution organization. Today we are uniquely positioned for continued growth, in no small part because of Bridget's vision, expertise, deep relationships, and dedication. With the integration now complete, Bridget is ready to tackle a new challenge.

Please join me in thanking Bridget for her exemplary and inspirational leadership at NBCUniversal.  Her effervescence, smarts, courage and tenacity, leave an indelible mark here and on the industry; and her numerous accolades and awards speak to her impressive accomplishments over the last 24 years. We await the success of Bridget's next adventure and will be cheering her on.  She will be greatly missed.

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