Steve Burke, The 'Un-Mogul' Reinventing TV

01/29/2011 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Brian Steinberg MediaWorks

It's the first of many conversations Mr. Burke, 52, will lead over the next several months -- and perhaps the least among them will be about whether "30 Rock" belongs at 10 p.m. on Thursdays. This new media boss is in a unique position not only to influence what America watches, but to also shape the way in which marketers advertise to the nation by harnessing the one-to-one addressable technology of cable and melding it with the mass reach and programming might of NBC Universal. It's a high-profile task for a person who has avoided the media-industry spotlight in the past. But Mr. Burke's pedigree and management style point to an executive who thrives on intense, albeit quiet, competition. "The stimulus for him is more about the work than all of the other stuff that comes with it," said William Burke, his youngest brother.

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