Updated: Parsons To Providence: Former Time Warner Chairman May Be Back In Deal Fray


Providence Equity Partners has a penchant for media and entertainment investments like Hulu, Warner Music, YES and Univision — and for additions with media connections. Former FCC Chairman Michael Powell signed on as a senior advisor when his government tenure ended. Jim Bankoff found a spot with the same title after AOL (NYSE: TWX), as did Michelle Guthrie after News Corp.’s STAR. Now it looks like Dick Parsons, the former chairman and CEO of Time Warner, is following suit. Andrew Ross Sorkin reports that Parsons, now the chairman of Citigroup, told that board he is joining Providence as a part-time senior adviser but plans to stay on with the firm. Providence announced (pdf) Parsons’ joining this morning, saying that serving as chairman of Citi will “remain his primary business activity.”

Sources tell Sorkin that Parsons, who is friends with Providence founder Jonathan Nelson, initially planned to take the gig earlier this year but held off to focus on Citigroup. Parsons will advise on possible deals and work with portfolio companies but isn’t expected to put deals together.

Providence has a hit with Hulu, which started as a joint venture between News Corp (NYSE: NWS). and NBC Universal (NYSE: GE), recently adding the Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) as another media equity partner. Providence played a key role near the beginning with a $100 million investment that allowed Hulu to be valued at $1 billion before launch. MGM? Not so good.

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