More Brian Roberts & Chris Licht Buzz

Brian Roberts
Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Dylan Byers
June 3, 2022

Happy Friday. After a rollicking few weeks in media, I chatted with our co-founder and editor-in-chief Jon Kelly to discuss it all: Who will take over 9 p.m. on CNN and MSNBC; why Brian Roberts is focused on gaming; whether Netflix has become an acquisition target; Shari Redstone’s next moves; Chris Licht’s master plan, and more.

Jon Kelly: You’ve unearthed some great reporting lately about Comcast’s interest in EA Sports, and its desire to spin it off with NBCU. In one configuration of the deal, which inevitably fell apart, EA C.E.O. Andrew Wilson would have run the combined entity and Jeff Shell would have ascended to a role at Comcast. Do you think Brian Roberts blinked at the idea of entrusting so much authority to an outsider?

Dylan Byers: Absolutely. Control is extremely important to Roberts. He and his family actually own just 1 percent of Comcast, but they control the company by holding one-third of the voting power through Class B shares. Needless to say, Roberts’ definition of control likewise extends to having the power to appoint his deputies across the organization, including NBCUniversal. Jeff Shell is a Roberts loyalist, after all, and the two men get along well.