NBCU CEO Burke plans to depart in 2020 - report

Steve Burke, CEO of NBCUniversal
NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke (Comcast)

NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke is reportedly planning to leave his position next year, allowing Jeff Shell to take over the chief executive role at the media giant.

According to Variety, Burke’s current contract expires in August, but he may leave before that. Shell, chairman of NBCUniversal Film and Entertainment, would take over Burke’s job and split his time between Los Angeles and New York.

Though Burke could be leaving NBCU, he may stay in the Comcast family. The report suggests that he could transition to a role at Comcast or at Sky, the European pay TV operator acquired last year by Comcast.

RELATED: Comcast might make Peacock free for everyone, report says

Burke’s potential exit comes amid other executive changes at NBCUniversal.

Bonnie Hammer, chairman of direct-to-consumer and digital enterprises at NBCUniversal, moved to a new role overseeing all of NBCU’s broadcast and cable studio operations. Matt Strauss, current executive vice president of Xfinity Services at Comcast, took over as the head of Peacock, which is scheduled to launch in April 2020.

Comcast and NBCU have an investor day planned for Peacock on January 16. Comcast didn’t provide any details about what the meeting will cover, and only said it will address the “overarching strategy for the platform.”

NBC is planning to offer Peacock for free to its Comcast and Sky pay TV subscribers along with a subscription tier for consumers that don’t subscribe to Comcast’s pay TV services. But recent reports from CNBC (which is owned by Comcast) suggest that the company will make the service free for everyone to use.