Jay Ireland, president of NBC Universal Television Stations and network operations, is returning to parent company General Electric for a great job, but with mixed emotions.
During his eight years in the post, Mr. Ireland grew the network’s stations group to include Telemundo stations and saw his role expanded from stations group president, his first position in the world of broadcast TV, to include responsibility for Telemundo, NBCU network operations, domestic first-run syndication and affiliate relations.
He is returning to GE, where he held a number of positions in the 19 years before being assigned to NBC, as president-CEO of GE Asset Management at the company’s Stamford, Conn., headquarters.
It is a job he could not resist, he told TelevisionWeek Thursday, when he declined to comment on whom he might recommend to NBCU President-CEO Jeff Zucker as his successor. “It’s unique in the financial industry,” he said.
Among the things he has learned with the NBCU stations in an environment of fast-enveloping change, he said, is “making sure you react to change soon enough. I think we did a pretty good job, but there is more to be done.”
In an internal memo Thursday, Mr. Zucker said: “This is a big promotion for Jay, who in addition to leading GEAM will be a member of [GE Chairman] Jeff Immelt’s Corporate Executive Council and GE Capital’s board of directors.
“Jay has had an outstanding career with GE and this is the next step for him—the chance to lead one of its major businesses, a global investment firm with nearly $200 billion in assets under management,” Mr. Zucker added.
Mr. Ireland is expected to remain in place at NBCU through mid-July.
“I will announce the leadership transition over the next couple of weeks,” Mr. Zucker said.
[Via TV Week]