Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

News Release

Executive VP and General Counsel of NBC Universal in "Conversation" at Southwestern February 07, 2008
Executive VP and General Counsel of NBC Universal in "Conversation" at Southwestern

Richard Cotton, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of NBC Universal will be the first guest of 2008 for the law school's "A Conversation With..." series, presented by Southwestern's Biederman Institute. Professor David Kohler, Director of the Biederman Institute will conduct the discussion titled, "Protecting the Peacock: The Challenges of Representing an Integrated Entertainment Company in the 21st Century" on Wednesday, February 27 at 7:30 p.m. at Southwestern.

Mr. Cotton oversees the NBC Universal Law Department, which provides legal advice to all NBC Universal business units for ongoing operations and for new strategic plans and acquisitions. He also spearheads NBC Universal's Washington office, which is responsible for the company's regulatory and legislative agenda at the FCC and in Congress. Cotton reports directly to Jeff Zucker, President and Chief Executive Officer of NBC Universal.

Prior to his current appointment, Mr. Cotton had served from 2000 to 2004 as President and Managing Director of London-based CNBC Europe. His leadership dramatically upgraded CNBC Europe's on-air presentation, expanded its reach to 85 million homes and developed programming partnerships in Germany, Italy, Turkey, Russia and the Middle East. Mr. Cotton has also served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of NBC for 11 years, spearheading successful efforts in advocating the repeal of financial-interest and syndication rules and the primetime access rule. He oversaw NBC's participation in the debates that lead to rewriting of telecommunications laws in 1996 and in the FCC's review of various broadcast regulations during the 1990s.

During the 1980s, Mr. Cotton was in private practice, specializing in health and environmental regulation, First Amendment and libel issues and litigation in federal and state courts at the trial and appellate levels. He was appointed Deputy Executive Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare under Secretary Joseph A. Califano in 1977 and was named the Executive Secretary in 1978. 

Mr. Cotton earned his bachelor's degree in 1965 from Harvard University and became a correspondent for Newsweek magazine in its Chicago bureau. He graduated cum laude in 1969 from Yale Law School, where he was the executive editor of the Yale Law Journal. He has also taught law at the University of California, Berkeley.

The "Conversation With..." series features prominent publishers, television and film producers, and senior counsel for entertainment and media enterprises, as well as public officials involved with the entertainment and media industries. The dialogue format allows the special guest to explore, with students and members of the legal profession, contemporary and sometimes controversial issues confronting the entertainment industry and the media.

The free event will offer one hour of CLE credit and be held in the law school's Bullocks Wilshire Building at 3050 Wilshire Boulevard. Reservations are requested and can be made through the Institute Office. Campus parking is available for $6. Click here for directions to campus.