Comcast’s Real Repairman

Coverage Type: reporting
Comcast, 1500 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19102-2148, United States

Comcast executive vice president David L. Cohen is well known in Philadelphia from his time as chief of staff to former Mayor Edward G. Rendell in the 1990s, a six-year tenure that established his reputation as a master of big-picture strategy, fine detail and just about everything in between.

“Whatever the issue is, David learns more about it than anyone, and he can keep it all in his head,” Rendell says. “With me, he knew all about municipal pensions, and he knew about picking up trash -- I mean the actual routes of the garbage trucks.” At Comcast, Cohen has extended his range of competencies by transforming himself into a supremely well-connected political player. President Barack Obama, at Cohen’s home in Philadelphia in 2013 to raise money for Democratic Senate candidates, joked, “I have been here so much, the only thing I haven’t done in this house is have Seder dinner.” Cohen oversees Comcast’s robust lobbying operation and sets the strategies to shepherd its acquisitions past antitrust questions and other regulatory concerns. It’s a big job -- and one that would fully occupy almost anyone else -- because Comcast’s appetite for expansion is large, and it needs to be fed with a frequency that some find alarming.


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