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CNBC changes leadership as business channels adapt

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CNBC is making a change in leadership as its parent company looks to integrate its cable channels more closely with NBC News.

The niche financial news channel announced Tuesday that Mark Hoffman, who has led CNBC since 2005, will be replaced by KC Sullivan, a sales executive at parent company Comcast. The appointment could herald a new era for Business News Cable’s channel.

Under Hoffman, CNBC operated as an independent entity, separate from Comcast’s NBC Newsgroup. The executive — a native of San Fernando — was the guardian of the channel-free state within the company.

The network has its own facility in Inglewood Cliffs, New Jersey, across the river from NBC News’ Comcast Building in Midtown Manhattan.

But that independence may end under Sullivan, who was nominated by NBC Newsgroup Chairman César Conde, who won CNBC oversight when he took over the news division from Andy Lack in 2020. , before Conde arrived).

The former CNBC employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity, believes the appointment will start a move to further integrate the network into NBC News. Many of CNBC’s anchors and correspondents, who had worked their entire careers with the network under Hoffman’s leadership, lamented his end of the air with a sense that further change was imminent.

Sullivan was Managing Director of Global Advertising and Partnerships at London-based NBCUniversal and worked for Comcast’s Sky Media. He has experience on the business side of his CNBC, having run its international operations for his seven years. He also served as the network’s chief financial officer.

Sullivan’s background reflects his focus on developing new revenue opportunities for CNBC. CNBC, like all cable networks, faces an inevitable decline in viewership and revenue as consumers move away from pay TV subscriptions.

Under Hoffman, the company launched CNBC Pro, a direct-to-consumer subscription service, and an investment club led by host and analyst Jim Cramer. After a long-standing partnership with Dow Jones, Hoffman also oversaw the expansion of CNBC’s international operations after leading efforts to acquire full ownership of CNBC’s international operations.

CNBC has long been a profitable business for NBC News, which the company called “record financial performance” during 16 of Hoffman’s 17 years at the helm. The network, which does not use Nielsen ratings to set ad rates for its daytime business programming, has long enjoyed success thanks to its ability to reach high-income audiences.

“Because we are in the business of business, we have navigated economic cycles, exogenous events, and the historical long-term shifts that accompany them, setting record after record in financial performance year after year, and better than ever. It’s important to note that we’re not making a profit, it’s the information age,” Hoffman said in a farewell note to staff.

However, future growth is difficult as the network continues to see subscriber losses due to cord cuts. Financial market news and information are also widely available on the Internet and on mobile devices.