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NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke to step down next year

(Reuters) - NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke will step down next year and be replaced by NBCUniversal Film and Entertainment Chairman Jeff Shell, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The executive shuffle comes as the Comcast Corp-owned CMCSA.O news and entertainment company prepares to wade into the streaming war with a new advertising-supported service, Peacock. It will be one of the last entrants in an industry occupied by tech and media giants Netflix Inc NFLX.O, Apple Inc AAPL.O and Walt Disney Co DIS.N. AT&T Inc T.N is set to launch its HBO Max streaming service next May.

Peacock is expected to launch in April; NBCUniversal is expected to discuss it at an investor and press meeting in January.

Burke, whose contract ends August 2020, is not expected to seek another job at Comcast nor will he go to another company, the source said, shooting down speculation that he was considering a role at Comcast, possibly to run UK-based pay TV service Sky.

An NBCUniversal representative declined to comment. The executive move was first reported by Variety.

Burke joined Comcast in 1998 and ran its cable division during a period of rapid expansion of its high-speed internet service. He became CEO of NBCUniversal by 2011 after Comcast took control of the media company from General Electric in 2010. Before Comcast, Burke spent over a decade at Disney.

Shares of Comcast closed up 1.3% at $43.58 on Nasdaq on Friday.

Reporting by Kenneth Li; editing by Jonathan Oatis; Editing by Leslie Adler

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