The Desk appreciates the support of readers who purchase products or services through links on our website. Learn more...

Ex-NBC boss Jeff Shell could head to Paramount post-Skydance merger

Former NBC Universal CEO Jeff Shell appears in an undated handout photo. (Photo by Broadcasting Board of Governors)
Former NBC Universal CEO Jeff Shell appears in an undated handout photo. (Photo by Broadcasting Board of Governors, Graphic by The Desk)

The former chief executive of Comcast’s NBC Universal business could be headed to Paramount Global if the company moves forward with its merger plan involving Skydance Media, according to a report.

Over the weekend, CNBC offered additional details about what Paramount Global might look like after consummating its marriage with Skydance Media, which would involve other companies like RedBird Capital Partners, where Jeff Shell oversees its sports and media investments.

Shell is likely to take a senior leadership role at Paramount should the companies merge, according to CNBC, with Skydance founder and CEO David Ellison taking charge of the combined operation.

Paramount would continue to trade as a public company, the network said, with shareholders having more control over the film and television enterprise. Currently, Shari Redstone and her family control the majority of Paramount through their majority ownership of parent company National Amusements.

Last week, reports indicated the Paramount Global board would enter into exclusive discussions with Skydance in pursuit of a merger. Those reports come about three months after Skydance made a preliminary offer to acquire National Amusements with a specific focus on marrying Paramount with Ellison’s content studio business.

The plan is not without some controversy: On Monday, shareholder Matrix Asset Advisors sent a letter to the Paramount merger committee in which the group complained about the proposal, saying it stood to materially benefit Redstone beyond what her share of National Amusements was actually worth.

The letter said Matrix believes Paramount’s stock will be boosted in the future by “dramatic changes in the video entertainment market,” which it projects will “bolster shareholder value over the next 12 to 18 months.”

“The intrinsic value of Paramount’s unparalleled portfolio of assets is well above the company’s stock price, and their ability to generate strong financial returns should soon be recognized,” David Katz, the Chief Investment Officer at Matrix Asset Advisors, wrote in the letter.

Get stories like these in your inbox, plus free breaking news alerts on business and policy matters involving media and tech.

Get stories like these in your inbox, plus free breaking news alerts on business and policy matters involving media and tech.

Photo of author

About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
Home » News » Industries » Television » Ex-NBC boss Jeff Shell could head to Paramount post-Skydance merger