Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation, talks with John Battelle about TV, internet, and the future of communication.
They explore the new possibilities that are opening up as internet connections grow ever faster, as well as other hot topics like online video and net neutrality.
John Battelle is an entrepreneur, journalist, professor, and author. Currently founder and chairman of Federated Media Publishing, he is also a founder and executive producer of conferences in the media, technology, communications, and entertainment industries as well as "band manager" with BoingBoing.net.
Previously, Battelle was founder, chairman, and CEO of Standard Media International (SMI), publisher of The Industry Standard and TheStandard.com. Prior to founding The Standard, Battelle was a co-founding editor of Wired magazine and Wired Ventures.
He is the author of The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture (Portfolio, 2005).
Brian L. Roberts
Brian L. Roberts is Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation, a global media and technology company. Under his leadership, Comcast has grown into a Fortune 50 company and is the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses. The Company is the owner and manager of NBCUniversal, which operates 30 news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures and Universal Parks and Resorts. Additionally, Comcast has a majority ownership in Comcast-Spectacor, whose major holdings include the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team and the Wells Fargo Center, a large multipurpose arena in Philadelphia.
Brian is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) where he served as Chairman for two consecutive terms from 2005 to 2007 and from 1995 to 1996 when the landmark deregulatory 1996 Telecommunications Act became law. He is Director Emeritus of CableLabs, the research and development consortium for the cable industry where he served three terms as Chairman. Brian is a member of the Business Roundtable, a CEO only organization based in Washington, D.C., and also served on the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
Brian has won numerous business and industry honors for his leadership. Most recently, in 2012, he was recognized by Fortune Magazine as a “Businessperson of the Year” and received the Joseph Wharton Award for Leadership for his exceptional leadership within the Wharton alumni community. In 2011, he received the Ambassador for Humanity Award from the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for his visionary leadership and philanthropic work in education and technology. He also received the Fred Dressler Achievement Award from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University for his consistent and unique contributions to the public’s understanding of the media. Also in 2011, he and his father, Ralph J. Roberts, were inducted into Babson College’s Academy of Distinguished Entrepreneurs Hall of Fame. In 2009, Institutional Investor magazine named him as one of America’s top CEOs for the sixth year in a row, and named Comcast one of America's most shareholder-friendly companies for the fourth year in a row. In 2008, he was recognized by Big Brothers Big Sisters for his outstanding leadership in the community and for serving as a role model to youth. In May 2007, he was presented with the cable industry's highest honor, the Vanguard Award for Distinguished Leadership from the NCTA. In October of 2006, he was inducted into the Cable Television Hall of Fame. In 2005, he was honored by the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) for his commitment to diversity in the cable industry, and by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America (PDFA) for Comcast’s unprecedented commitment of resources to champion the PDFA’s drug-free message. He also was the recipient of the 2004 Humanitarian Award from the Simon Wiesenthal Center. In 2003, Brian was awarded the Steven J. Ross Humanitarian Award by the UJA Federation of New York. In 2002, he was honored by the Police Athletic League of Philadelphia for his commitment to youth programs and community partnerships.
Brian co-chaired the 2003 Resource Development Campaign for the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania and was a founding co-chair of Philadelphia 2000, the nonpartisan host committee for the 2000 Republican National Convention. An All-American in squash, he earned a gold medal with the U.S. squash team in 2005 and silver medals at the 1981, 1985, 1997 and 2009 Maccabiah Games in Israel.
Comcast CEO Brian Roberts responds to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's push to formalize net neutrality guidelines. "Tell me exactly what it means and what problem we're solving that requires an act of government," he says. "The idea that we're not going to have an open Internet is just not realistic."
Comcast CEO Brian Roberts discusses how his company has adopted social networking sites like Twitter to help improve customer service. "Use of social networking and use of transparency...has been fantastic for us," he says.