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Shell promoted to head Universal film group

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- NBCUniversal, the entertainment media division of Comcast Corp., is shaking up its executive ranks. It's put Jeff Shell, an executive overseeing the day-to-day operations of the company outside the U.S., in charge of the global moviemaking and distribution business.

Shell becomes chairman of the newly formed division called Universal Filmed Entertainment Group.

The company also said Monday that Ron Meyer, the president of Universal Studios since 1995, would become vice chairman of NBCUniversal, extending his contract through 2017. Meyer is to advise on strategy throughout the company, focusing on motion pictures, theme parks, and the studio in Los Angeles.

Donna Langley, former co-chairman of Universal Pictures, was promoted to chairman. Adam Fogelson, who has been chairman of Universal Pictures since October 2009, will leave the company.

Shell and Meyer will report to NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke, while Langley will report to Shell.

Burke said in a statement that Shell, having led NBCUniversal's international operations for the last two and a half years "is perfectly positioned to lead our film group at a time when global expansion is more important than ever."

Universal says it is on track for a record year at the global box office, helped by hits such as "Despicable Me 2" and "Fast & Furious 6."

Before joining Comcast, Shell was CEO of Gemstar TV Guide International and was president of Fox Cable Networks Group. He was also previously in the strategic planning group at the The Walt Disney Co. He began serving in August as the chair of the Broadcast Board of Governors, a position appointed by President Obama.