Philadelphia Inquirer: With NBC Universal deal pending, Comcast reaches accord with Hispanics
By Bob Fernandez
Comcast Corp. will appoint a Latino to its board of directors within 24 months of closing a deal to acquire control of NBC Universal Inc., the Philadelphia cable company said Wednesday.
Having a Latino director is part of a broader agreement with Hispanic groups to win support for the NBC Universal deal. Comcast corporate directors earn about $300,000 a year, according to company filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Comcast reached an agreement in December to acquire control of NBCU, one of the nation's largest entertainment companies and owner of Hispanic programmer Telemundo, from General Electric Co. The $30 billion deal now faces regulatory reviews in Washington.
Lillian Rodriguez, chairwoman of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, said Wednesday that the Hispanic groups did not commit to specific employment or procurement goals for Hispanics because they needed first to obtain information from Comcast.
Other Hispanic groups that signed the agreement were the Hispanic Association for Corporate Responsibility, the National Council of La Raza, and the National Hispanic Media Coalition, Rodriguez said.
Diversity issues have gained attention in the regulatory review. Rep. Maxine Waters, a prominent African American Democrat from California, held a public hearing in California in early June over diversity at Comcast and NBCU. Rep. Bobby L. Rush (D., Ill.) has scheduled a hearing in Chicago for July 8 that is expected to address diversity issues.
As part of its agreement with Hispanic groups, Comcast said it also would form a nine-member Hispanic Advisory Council that will focus on Comcast's and NBCU's employment, procurement, programming, philanthropy, and corporate-governance practices. Details of the agreement were posted on Comcast's blog (https://blog.comcast.com) on Wednesday afternoon.