Comcast's NBC shake-up continues; Vermont senator objects

As suggested--then somewhat retracted--last week, NBC Universal TV Entertainment Chairman Jeff Gaspin will step down when Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) takes over. Gaspin, in charge of NBC's cable and broadcast operations, used a memo to explain that he couldn't work out a new post with incoming boss Comcast COO Steve Burke and that "as is his prerogative, Steve has determined that he wants to move in a different direction."

That direction will presumably include Robert Greenblatt, programming boss at Showtime Network, who will try to put some color back into the peacock's feathers. Burke is expected to officially announce his staff lineup later this week--although with all the rumors that have been flying it will probably be a bit anticlimactic--and that has drawn fire from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders who fired off a letter to the FCC detailing his objections to the deal and to the backroom musical chairs.

"Although Comcast has done little to prove that the proposed merger is in the public interest, it has been busy measuring the drapes at NBC," Sanders wrote. "Despite ongoing review, Comcast has on several occasions announced plans for replacing NBCU's executives with Comcast staff and restructuring NBCU's senior leadership. These actions suggest a disregard for the important and ongoing agency reviews of the merger-or worse, a belief that Comcast has successfully controlled the federal review process."

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