Craig Robinson Tapped as NBCU's EVP, Chief Diversity Officer

Move comes as company takes heat for rebuffing minorities

Craig Robinson has been chosen as NBC Universal's new EVP, Chief Diversity Officer, the company announced. Robinson had previously served as president and general manager of Los Angeles station KNBC.

The move comes at a crucial time for the company; recently, NBCU and its parent company, Comcast, have received heavy criticism for insufficiently embracing diversity, after turning away both a request to promote Oprah Winfrey's new OWN Network, and an offer from Russell Simmons to take over the Style Network.

Also read: Comcast-NBCU Under Fire for Dragging Its Feet on Diversity

Robinson inherits the position from Paula Madison, who retired in May. Working under NBC Universal CEO Steve Burke, Robinson will be responsible for maintaining an environment "that values diversity of talent, ideas, values and backgrounds across all parts of the company," NBCU said in its release. He will also serve as a member of Comcast and NBC Universal’s Joint Diversity Council.

Robinson will begin his new duties on Aug. 15; in the meantime, KNBC will search for his replacement.

“Diversity is one of our company’s biggest priorities, and I’m pleased that we could look within our own ranks and tap an accomplished leader like Craig to fill this important role," Burke said while announcing the hire.

Robinson is already involved in several diversity-themed employee groups within the company, including Asian Pacific Americans @NBCUniversal, Black Professional Alliance and Out @NBCU. He had served as KNBC's general manager since 2008.