Kliavkoff to Leave Top Digital Spot at NBCU


George Kliavkoff is done bringing digital gospel to old media. Now he wants to “start, run or invest” in an online business, he said in an internal email announcing he will leave his post as NBC Universal’s chief digital officer at the end of the year. The email, parts of which were published by CNET today, noted that NBCU’s digital revenues will top $1 billion in 2009 and that Kliavkoff feels his work at the media giant is done.

Kliavkoff had been with NBCU since August 2006, was the interim CEO for Hulu before it became fully formed, and most recently led NBCU’s widely viewed portal for online Olympics coverage. He had also been in charge of less successful efforts like NBC Direct, the network’s dysfunctional web video-on-demand service. Prior to NBCU, Kliavkoff had led the digital arm of Major League Baseball Advanced Media.

Kliavkoff will stay with NBCU through the end of the year and take time off before his next project, according to CNET. NBCU CEO Jeff Zucker said in a cordial statement that he appreciated Kliavkoff’s efforts to embed digital into each of the company’s divisions. We at NewTeeVee will miss Kliavkoff’s informative public remarks that gave specific details into NBC’s digital thinking. We only hope he will continue to be so clear-headed at his next venture.

For some of Kliavkoff’s new media wisdom, see our 2009 predictions series from the end of last year, where he was a featured pundit.



I worked with this guy. He is great at taking credit and washing his hands. I heard he was asked to resign because one of his projects turned out very embarrassing for NBC.


BTW, he didn’t quite “lead” MLB.com. He was one of three EVP’s reporting to the CEO — he ran biz dev, other two ran content and e-commerce.

Liz Gannes

Thanks P and lurkr. I was on calls where George had to justify Direct but I guess at the time he was obliged to toe the company line.


Ditto on Direct. George clashed with the NBC.com leads and basically washed his hands of it. Still not fully launched a year later. Give the guy props for Hulu but don’t stick him with Direct.

Tim Street

Would this be the 2nd person to leave NBC now? What are they doing at NBC or are these guys really seeing opportunity in this down market?


Liz – Good story, but one mistake. I was in the meetings where George K argued against NBC Direct. That was a product launched by NBC.com that George tried to kill a half dozen times.

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