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Name: Shell, Jeffrey
Current Position: Former Chairman

The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), a controversy and scandal plagued independent federal agency responsible for all non-military broadcasting sponsored by the U.S. government, is set to get a new chairman. President Obama on September 12 announced his intent to nominate broadcasting executive Jeffrey Shell, currently President of NBCUniversal International, to succeed Walter Isaacson, who has been chair since June 2010.


Born circa 1965, Shell earned B.S. degrees in Economics and Applied Mathematics at the University of California at Berkeley in 1987. After working two years at Wall Street investment banking firm Salomon Brothers, Shell later told an interviewer “I wanted to work for a real business,” and returned to school to earn an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1991.


Shell began his career on the business side of television working in the Corporate Strategic Planning Group at the Walt Disney Company, and then in a variety of positions at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, including as president of the FOX Cable Networks Group. Shell worked for Gemstar TV Guide International from 2002 to 2005, starting as co-president and co-chief operating officer and ending as CEO.


Shell was president of Comcast Programming Group from 2005 to 2011, responsible for Comcast’s national and regional television networks, including E! Entertainment Network, Style Network, G4, the Golf Channel, PBS KIDS Sprout, VERSUS, TV One, International Channel networks, and eleven regional sports networks run under the aegis of Comcast Sports Group. Since 2011, Jeff Shell has been president, but not CEO, of NBCUniversal, based in London, U.K., and responsible for overseeing International TV Distribution, Global Television Networks, and International Television Production.


Shell serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations, including the National Constitution Center, and is active in a number of organizations involved in public school reform. A Democrat, Shell has made political contribution totaling $222,950 since 1995, mostly to Democratic candidates and committees, including $82,600 to the Democratic National Committee, $16,500 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and thousands to numerous Democratic candidates, mostly at the Senatorial level. He has also contributed $42,000 to two broadcasting-related PACs: $25,000 to ComCast PAC and $17,000 to the National Cable and Telecommunications Association. According to the website OpenSecrets, Shell has contributed to neither of President Obama’s presidential campaigns, nor to his 2004 Senate campaign.


Shell and his wife Laura have a daughter, Anna.

-Matt Bewig


Official Biography

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