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Comcast considered name change in rebranding

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By The Philadelphia Inquirer
Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, 6:08 p.m.
 

Even the Comcast name was on the table over the last year as the company considered a rebranding plan to communicate that it was a cable-TV provider and a media conglomerate through its NBC Universal subsidiary.

NBC wasn't considered, but other names were, D'Arcy Rudnay, Comcast's chief communications officer, said Tuesday afternoon in a 52nd-floor conference room.

The company ultimately decided to keep Comcast — a combination of “communications” and “broadcast” coined by company founder Ralph Roberts in the 1960s — with NBC's colorful peacock logo centered over it.

The font was specially created by the global design firm frog — that's right, lowercase “f” — that worked on Apple products in the 1980s.

Comcast Chief Executive Brian Roberts presented the new logo and website, www.comcastcorporation.com, in an internal meeting Monday at NBC headquarters in New York with 275 Comcast employees in attendance in NBC's Saturday Night Live studio. The employees were being recognized for restoring cable and Internet service in the Northeast after Superstorm Sandy.

Roberts, accompanied on stage by NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams and cable division head Neil Smit, said the new brand was a “great new image for the company.”

No longer solely a cable-TV company, Comcast has positioned itself at the intersection of technology and media, Rudnay said.

Comcast acquired a 51 percent interest in NBC Universal in early 2011 from General Electric and is expected to eventually buy the other 49 percent, also from GE.

Comcast will continue to market its cable, high-speed Internet, and phone services under the Xfinity name, and the new logo will reflect the corporate parent, now one of the largest companies in the United States, with more than 100,000 employees.

Xfinity will remain on the company's ubiquitous white service vans, but the new Comcast lettering with the NBC peacock will be painted on the doors.

“We are a whole company and not a company of parts,” Roberts said, referring to the combination of the two main business lines, Comcast and NBC, in the logo.

The company developed the new content-rich website — 2,500 pages and 100 videos available to the public — for those curious about Comcast.

It will be managed in Philadelphia and contain movie trailers and information about the businesses and history of NBC, Comcast, and Universal, the movie studio.

Before launching this website, Comcast's main website, www.comcast.com, was aimed at retail customers. It will remain focused on retail. That site had 29 million visitors in November.

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