Steve Burke
Title: President, Comcast Cable; COO, Comcast Corp.
Age: 51
Education: BA, Colgate U; MBA, Harvard

Why Him? Even without the NBCU deal, Burke would be among cable’s top power brokers. But now that Comcast appears likely to snap up the content giant (assuming all falls into place with shareholders and regulators), his influence over distribution and content will be utterly unmatched. Burke likely will oversee the whole shebang, making him the Media King (Brian Roberts remains above it all as cable’s King of all Kings — but we digress). Meanwhile, Comcast delivered upside surprises in Q3, including a 22% jump in earnings. Bottom line: Burke’s star didn’t need to rise. But it’s rising anyway. It’s good to be the king…

Worth Watching: Will Burke oust embattled NBCU chief Jeff Zucker or leave the longtime exec in place as a trusted lieutenant?

Year Ahead:

Assuming the feds approve the NBCU deal, Burke is poised to become one of the most powerful media titans in the U.S. But with fame comes more scrutiny. We’re betting this level-headed operator will pass the test.

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