NBCUniversal to Invest $500 Million in a Production Studio in Albuquerque

NBCUniversal is setting up shop in New Mexico, announcing plans on Friday to build a new TV and film studio in Albuquerque and pledging to spend $500 million in production over the next 10 years.

NBCU is entering into a 10-year venture with Garcia Realty and Development to redevelop an empty free-span warehouse in the New Mexico area into a state-of-the-art studio with two sound stages, offices and a mill. Over the next 10 years, NBCUniversal will produce television and film projects at the Albuquerque facility, with the aim of reaching $500 million in direct production spending…

The deal comes just months after Gov. Grisham signed into law one of the most aggressive incentive packages for the film and television production industry in the United States, which doubled the annual payout for productions that come to New Mexico. This also comes as other states like Georgia and Louisiana are coming under fire for new abortion laws that have led to calls for Hollywood studios to boycott those states.

Lots of solid movie production talent with decades of experience here in New Mexico. Sounds like a win all the way round.

Republican regulator to join Comcast after she OK’d NBC deal

A top telecommunications regulator who voted to approve Comcast Corp.’s takeover of NBCUniversal in January is leaving to join the company as a lobbyist.

Meredith Attwell Baker, one of two Republicans on the five-member Federal Communications Commission, will become senior vice president of government affairs for NBCUniversal.

Comcast said it did not begin discussions with Baker about a possible job until after the transaction had closed…

Uh-huh.

Craig Aaron, head of the public interest group Free Press, called the move an example of “business as usual in Washington — where the complete capture of government by industry barely raises any eyebrows.”

Comcast, the nation’s largest cable TV company, bought a controlling interest in NBCUniversal after the FCC and the Justice Department approved the deal with conditions following a year-long review. The FCC’s vote was 4-1…

At the FCC, Baker was a reliable pro-business voice who frequently expressed concern that the agency was imposing unnecessary and onerous regulations on phone and cable companies.

Along with fellow Republican commissioner Robert McDowell, Baker opposed the controversial “network neutrality” rules approved by the commission’s three Democrats last year. Those rules, which prohibit phone and cable companies from interfering with Internet traffic on their broadband networks, are now facing legal challenges from Verizon and Metro PCS.

It’s called a reward for loyal service – isn’t it?