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AOL said to want NBC executive

November 15, 2006|Meg James | Times Staff Writer

Veteran NBC Universal executive Randy Falco is being considered for a high-level job at Time Warner Inc.'s AOL division, according to two executives close to the situation.

AOL's courting of Falco comes as the Internet site is trying to increase advertising.

As president and chief operating officer of NBC Universal Television Group, Falco is in charge of NBC's sales force and other business operations.

Falco would bring to AOL years of experience cultivating relationships with the nation's largest corporate advertisers. He also is experienced at negotiating major broadcast rights, including NBC's pact with the International Olympics Committee, and helped coordinate coverage of the games.

Falco, 52, is known for straightforward management and strong relationships with two of the network's most important constituencies: advertisers and affiliate TV station owners.

Unclear is what job Falco was in the running for or whether AOL could offer him anything that would be considered an upgrade from his current second-in-command position.

The most senior position known to be open at the Time Warner Inc. unit is the No. 2 slot, which will become vacant in January when entrepreneur Ted Leonsis leaves.

Falco has spent his entire 31-year career at NBC. Last December, NBC Universal Chairman Bob Wright passed him over by naming Jeff Zucker chief executive of the TV group.

Falco did not return calls. NBC Universal, Time Warner and AOL all declined to comment. The executives who confirmed AOL's interest asked not to be identified because no deal with Falco had been finalized.

Times staff writer Chris Gaither contributed to this report.

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