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SBD/May 26, 2011/People and Pop Culture
NBC Sports' Ken Schanzer Announces Retirement, Will Stay Through Summer
Published May 26, 2011
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CULTURE CLASH DOWNPLAYED: Schanzer dismissed reports of a culture clash between NBC Sports and Comcast that surfaced soon after Ebersol left. "I don't think that's what was in play here," he said. "The way they do things might differ by degree over the way we did things. ... But this is not a clash of cultures." It is not clear how Lazarus will fill Schanzer's post. "This seems like an appropriate time," Schanzer said. "This gives Mark an opportunity to put people in place who will be here for a long time." The departure of NBC Sports' top two execs comes just over four months after Comcast's acquisition of NBC gained regulatory approval. The resignations also come just a couple of weeks before the IOC plans to accept bids for the '14 Sochi and '16 Rio de Janeiro Games. Schanzer said he has a lot of affection for NBC, which has been his home for 30 years. "I love this place. I've been here for a long, long time," he said. "I'm going out with a great feeling for the place."
IRISH EYES ARE SMILING: Asked to reflect on his career at NBC, Schanzer brought up the Notre Dame deal that he crafted, which was a ground-breaking deal when it was signed in '91. "Notre Dame has become an extraordinary part of my family's life," he said. Schanzer said he started his career at NBC during the Reagan administration. He remembered one of his first meetings with late NFL Commissioner PETE ROZELLE. "There was a little voice inside my head saying, 'Why is he listening to you?'" Schanzer said. "I've gotten to live one of the most extraordinary lives. ... I don't have one scintilla of regret." He joked the only person who may not be excited about his retirement is his wife. "My wife married me for better or for worse, but not for lunch," he joked.