National Cable & Telecommunications Association
President Kyle McSlarrow will join Comcast as president,
Comcast/NBCU, Washington, the company announced Wednesday. He will join the company next month.
"Mr. McSlarrow will have dual responsibilities in
business operations and public policy in Washington,
D.C. On the operations side, Mr. McSlarrow
will help lead the company's efforts in the Washington
metropolitan area around the customer experience and product development,"
said the company in announcing the move. "In addition, he will participate
in national efforts to improve the customer experience and will help lead
strategic planning around the extension of Comcast Business Services at the
federal and state government levels." McSlarrow will head up Comcast's
public policy office in Washington,
so he will essentially go from heading up lobbying in Washington
for NCTA to heading up lobbying in Washington
for its largest member.
McSlarrow announced last fall that
he would be exiting the association to seek a job in the industry he had
spent the last half a decade promoting in Washington. In an interview with multichannel news, McSlarrow had not commented on whether his job at Comcast was one he was eyeing, saying: "I don't want to screw the pooch."
"Kyle has been a tremendous leader and tireless
advocate for the cable and media industry in Washington,
D.C," said Comcast Chairman Brian Roberts in announcing the hire. "He
is widely respected throughout the industry for his leadership, deep
understanding of the cable and programming business, and ability to manage the
interest of a broad spectrum of major corporations. "Kyle also brings a
terrific mix of business skills and broad management capabilities to our cable
operations. His interests in technology, new product development, and customer
service will be a real asset to our Washington,
D.C. area operations."
"On behalf of the entire NCTA Board, I want to congratulate
Kyle and Comcast on Kyle's appointment to this prominent new position, said
NCTA Board Chairman Patrick Esser. "Kyle will be a great asset for Comcast
just as he was a bold and visionary leader of NCTA, and we're especially glad
that he'll remain within the cable family. We wish Kyle all the best as
he opens this new chapter of his career. Esser said the search for a successor
continues, with EVP James Assey continuing to manage the operations during the
Assey would be an obvious choice if NCTA stayed in-house. But according to a source, former FCC Chairman Michael Powell has emerged as a leading candidate to replace McSlarrow. NCTA had no comment and Powell could not be reached for comment at press time, but his name is among those that have been said to be among the top tier of candidates.
McSlarrow has said that, having turned 50 last year and anticipating resolution, at
least in the short term, of the Title II fight, he felt ready, personally and
professionally, to follow-through on his long-telegraphed plan--at least to
the NCTA board--of getting into the business side of the cable business.
McSlarrow joined NCTA in March 2005 and wound up spending much of his
early tenure defending the industry from attacks on its business model (bundled
channels vs. a la carte) and its prices from then-FCC Chairman Kevin Martin.
His creed has been to avoid, whenever possible, asking government to step into
the cable business.
McSlarrow has been one of the best-compensated association heads, according to
the latest Washingtonian salary survey, with compensation of $2,214,896.