Executives, Jeff Shell, NBCUniversal, News, private equity, redbird capital, Television

Former NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell In Advanced Talks To Join RedBird Capital Partners

Jeff Shell, whose tenure running NBCUniversal came to an abrupt end last spring, is in advanced talks to join private equity firm RedBird Capital Partners.

The executive, who had already been working in an informal capacity with the firm, is in discussions to come aboard full time early next year, a rep from the company told Deadline.

The Wall Street Journal had the first report on the negotiations.

Shell exited NBCU last April after an internal investigation uncovered an “inappropriate” relationship with a colleague, who was later identified as a reporter and host with CNBC. In the months after Shell’s departure, Comcast President Mike Cavanagh took on Shell’s oversight duties and handed out promotions to key execs at NBCU like Donna Langley and Mark Lazarus.

RedBird, which is led by former Goldman Sachs banker Gerry Cardinale, has made a number of high-profile investments in entertainment and sports. It has helped bankroll Skydance Media, the YES Network and Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s Artists Equity. RedBird also teamed with Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia to buy the XFL out of bankruptcy. The alternative pro football league recently announced a merger with the USFL.

Shell is ticketed for the entertainment and sports practice at RedBird, a role Disney CEO Bob Iger had discussed taking on at one point during his break between runs in the media company’s corner office. The activities of RedBird, however, are distinct from those overseen by another ex-NBCU boss, Jeff Zucker, who is CEO of RedBird IMI. The recently launched firm is a joint venture between the private equity firm and Abu Dhabi-based International Media Investments.

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