NBCUniversal has hired Jen Friedman, who has held leadership roles at Blackstone and General Electric as well as in politics, as the new head of global communications.
Beginning Jan. 10, Friedman will serve as executive vice president of communications and take on many of the duties previously assumed by Hilary Smith. In October, Adam Miller, chief executive officer of Comcast and executive vice president of NBCUniversal, announced that Smith would focus more on corporate social responsibility.
Friedman will report to Miller. Her appointment is the latest communications appointment in the media and entertainment industry, giving an outside parent the top job. Disney this month recruited former BP chief executive Geoff Morrell as general affairs director, succeeding Zenia Mucha in a newly created role.
At Blackstone, Friedman has helped oversee global public affairs across all activities of the investment firm. Prior to that, she was Senior Director of Corporate Reputation at General Electric, part of the communications leadership team working in GE companies and regions.
In the Obama administration, Friedman was deputy press secretary in the White House, senior strategic communications adviser for the National Economic Council. She has also held senior communications positions in several Cabinet offices.
Prior to his tenure in government, Friedman headed corporate communications for Albright Stonebridge and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. She also managed the campaign and media strategy for the national and local efforts of the Tobacco Free Campaign and the Violence Policy Center.
NBCU has undergone an extensive restructuring process over the past two years as the Comcast division, like its media peers, reorients itself into the future of streaming. Peacock, NBCU’s flagship streaming service, launched in 2020.