Comcast promises to add Latino to board of directors as part of outreach effort

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Comcast Corp. said it would add a Latino to its board of directors after it closes on its deal to take control of NBC Universal.

The move is part of an effort by Comcast and NBC Universal to ease concerns among the Latino community about the possible effects of their proposed merger on media diversity. The two companies also unveiled several other initiatives it hoped would lower the volume on the protests over the deal.

Besides adding a board member within 24 months after the deal is sealed, Comcast and NBC said they would boost the number of Latinos working at both companies as well as carry more independent channels and do more business with Latino-owned vendors. Signing a letter supporting their pledges were several Latino advocacy groups, including the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda and the National Hispanic Media Coalition. The National Hispanic Media Coalition and its chief, Alex Nogales, had been very critical of Comcast since the deal with NBC Universal was announced.

In a blog post on Comcast’s website, Comcast also says the two companies will boost carriage of Telemundo, which NBC owns, as well as create new Telemundo spin-off channels.


Both companies also committed to expanding outreach to Latino students and increasing scholarship and internship opportunities.

Comcast also has an African-American -- former Fannie Mae executive Kenneth Bacon -- on its board of directors.

-- Joe Flint