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Jeff Zucker promoted

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Jeff Zucker is set to replace Bob Wright as chief executive officer of NBC Universal within the week, reports say today.

Zucker will replace outgoing CEO Bob Wright, who has been with the company for 21 years. Wright is credited with overseeing the merge between NBC and Universal in 2004 that created the fifth-largest media company in the world.

Wright will stay on as an adviser for several months, Variety reports.

Zucker began at NBC in 1986 as a producer on the network's Today show. In 2000 he was promoted to head of NBC Entertainment, after which time the network plummeted from first place to fourth as it struggled to replace outgoing hits like Seinfeld and Friends, losing $900 million in ad revenue that year.

In 2005 he was upped to chief executive of NBC Universal Television Group, which includes NBC, USA, Bravo, Sci Fi, Telemundo, and NBC Sports. For the past several months, Zucker has been working closely with Jeff Immelt, president of NBC U parent GE, in what many regarded as the grooming of Wright's heir.

In the past two years, Zucker protege Kevin Reilly has slowly turned around the network's fortunes with buzz-worthy shows My Name Is Earl, The Office, and Heroes.

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