Paxson Communications appointed R. Brandon Burgess as CEO and director of the company, replacing founder Lowell "Bud" Paxson, whose broadcast career spans nearly half a century. Paxson recently stepped down, ending a long-standing legal dispute between Paxson and NBC Universal, which already owns 32 percent of Paxson and paid $25 million for an 18-month option to either buy Paxson's shares or find a third-party buyer. However, NBC cannot buy a controlling interested in the company due to FCC ownership rules.
Burgess joins the beleaguered company after serving as executive vice president of business development and international channels for NBC Universal. His new role as CEO became effective Nov. 10. Burgess was active in the recent merger of NBC and Universal Entertainment and the restructuring of Rainbow Media.
Paxson, co-founder and president emeritus of the Home Shopping Network and the creator and co-founder of the Christian Network, became chairman emeritus of Paxson Communications. He was inducted into the Broadcast Hall of Fame in 2002.
Additionally, W. Lawrence Patrick, a Paxson director since March 2005, was appointed chairman of the board. The company also retained an executive search firm to help recruit up to four director candidates with the objective of increasing the size of the board from five to up to nine members.
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