Last updated: September 27, 2010 - 8:50am
Television networks, struggling with big shifts in audience viewing habits, are plotting new ideas to remake their businesses, starting with who's in the corner offices.
Comcast Corp. and General Electric Co. on Sunday said Steve Burke, Comcast's chief operating officer, will replace Jeff Zucker as chief executive of NBC Universal. Mr. Burke, 52 years old, will assume the role when Comcast takes control of the TV and movie giant from General Electric. Time Warner Inc.'s CNN on Friday replaced Jon Klein as president of its main U.S. network. And three weeks ago, Walt Disney Co. said ABC News chief David Westin would depart at the end of the year. Each of the three big shifts presages more than a new nameplate. TV viewers are spending more time online, and the changes reflect a deep uncertainty about how TV companies will make money as their audience moves increasingly into the broader Internet. The management shifts come at the beginning of a rough-and-tumble TV season, with a bumper crop of new TV series desperately seeking an ever-fragmenting audience. The overall broadcast audience declined in the first week of the new season compared to last year, with existing hits such as "Dancing with the Stars" generally drawing the most viewers.
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