“This is an exciting time for NBC; not Seinfeld, Friends, ER exciting, but more like 3D espisodes of Merlin exciting.”
So adaged fictional NBC executive Jack Donaghy on the network’s self-jabbing sitcom 30 Rock. Donaghy, played by Alec Baldwin, was referring to the network’s acquisition by cable conglomerate Kabletown—”with a K.” And while Comcast, the real usurper of NBC Universal, is spelled with a C, almost everything else down to the near identical logos mirrors its fictional sitcom step-sibling.
And now that the deal has been neatly brokered, both on and off screen, Michael Angelakis, Comcast’s get-it-done-guy attributed with successfully smoothing over the GE-Comcast carnage over NBC, wants his peacock where he can see it.
The 45-year-old chief financial officer of the Philidelphia-based company currently resides in Gladwyne, Pa., with his wife, Christine, and three children. But it looks like the Boston-born family man may be commuting fairly regularly to 30 Rock; according to city records, Mr. Angelakis recently purchased a $4.6 million two-bedroom at the Hampshire House, Central Park South’s deluxe former-hotel-turned-co-op.
Roger Erickson, Sotheby‘s dapper apartment don, had the listing, but it wasn’t always so. In fact, this poor little pied-à-terre has had a shaky history on the market. Originally listed with Halstead at $6.5 million in November 2005, it hopscotched on and off the market until Trump briefly took over the listing in 2009 for a three-month fling. Finally, Mr. Erickson took the reins last fall, decreasing the asking price to $5.45 million, still quite a hopscotch leap from the final transaction price.
So it seems that Mr. Angelakis’ new abode was as difficult to sell as NBC was to buy, but, in this instance, as with the network buyout, Angel Michael came to the rescue.
Mr. Angelakis, who worked at Providence Equity Parnters Inc. until his 2007 assumption of Comcast’s CFO and executive vice president titles, is considered by many to be the reason the Comcast-NBC deal went through. Late last summer, after a series of headlocks between GE and Comcast, Mr. Angelakis flew up to GE executive Keith S. Sherin’s summer home on Cape Cod. He took Mr. Sherin and his wife to dinner, ending the evening shaking hands. The CFO phoned his boss, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, from the car to tell him a breakthrough had been made; Mr. Roberts later said of the phone call with his No. 2, “It was as if we worked together all our lives.” The Cape Cod trip was viewed as essential to the brokerage of the deal.
As to whether Mr. Roberts, as well as other Comcast high-ups, will spread their purchasing power around New York City real estate, no one knows. Comcast’s spokesperson told The Observer, “Unfortunately, we do not comment on our employees’ personal lives.”
According to a source in Hampshire House, Mark S. Siegel, the apartment’s former owner, moved out on March 16, when Ms. Angelakis’ name replaced Mr. Siegel’s on the official apartment directory.
Mr. Angelakis, who is described in one article as “a guy with a mischievous smile and a Boston accent who likes to fly under the media radar” declined to comment, as did Mr. Erickson. So we cannot definitively conclude that the Comcaster will be using the two-bedroom as a pied-à-terre, but it doesn’t take Miss Marple to make the jump. The title of the listing is spelled out bold and clear next to the address and unit number: “The Ultimate Pied-a-Terre.” In fact, it’s pretty much the only phrase in the whole description that is exclamation-point-free; the listing otherwise is frenetically peppered with them throughout.
The apartment has “one of the best views of Central Park in all Manhattan” and “is minutes from the best the city has to offer,” both filling “ultimate pied-à-terre” requirements that “It should have a great ‘wow’ factor” and “It should be centrally located.” (The last two criteria include, “it should be convenient” and “it should be a good investment” in case you’re ever in the market and want a checklist.) The living room, dining room and “spacious” master suite all feature “oversize” windows facing Central Park, and the building upholds its prestigious hotel history with hotel-style concierge services and amenities like laundry service and courtesy car included, as well as the swanky Exhale fitness club and spa downstairs.
And, of course, there is the eight-block walk to 30 Rockefeller Center.