Steve Reynolds Leaving Comcast, Joining Harris Broadcast

Steve Reynolds, an executive who has played an important role in the development of the Reference Design Kit (RDK) project for IP-connected set-tops, is leaving Comcast later this month to become the chief technology officer of Colorado-headquartered video gear, software and transmission specialist Harris Broadcast, Multichannel News has learned.

Word of Reynolds’ coming job change began to circulate last week. According to multiple industry sources, Reynolds’s last day with Comcast will be November 18. His exact start date at Harris Broadcast was not immediately known.

Harris Broadcast declined to comment. As of Thursday morning, Comcast had yet to comment on Reynolds’ status with the MSO and if it has identified an interim or permanent replacement for Reynolds.

Reynolds has helped to develop Comcast's video technology and services strategy. Reynolds, who joined Comcast in 2007, is the operator’s senior vice president, premises technology, responsible for technology strategies and roadmaps for Comcast’s customer premises equipment, including set-top and gateways. Reynolds, who spent part of his career at Comcast on assignment at Canoe, the cross-MSO advanced advertising venture, previously served in high ranking executive roles at video software and app firms OpenTV and Intellocity (bought by ACTV in 2001; OpenTV bought ACTV in 2002) and TV Guide (now part of Rovi Corp.).

In recent years at Comcast, Reynolds has led the charge for the RDK, a pre-integrated software stack for IP-only and hybrid QAM/IP set-tops and gateways. Comcast’s next-generation video service, X1, is the first commercial product to be based on the RDK.

Reynolds will be leaving Comcast as the RDK starts the next leg of its journey.

After starting out as a Comcast-only project, the RDK is starting to gather interest among other cable operators. Earlier this year, Comcast and Time Warner Cable announced RDK Management LLC, a joint venture that is managing the platform and headed up by Steve Heeb, a Comcast vet who was recently named president and general manager of the partnership. Liberty Global is tapping into the RDK (a 2.x version of the RDK under development will remove U.S.-only requirements) as it looks to migrate its user interface for its next-gen  Horizon video platform to the cloud.    

Reynolds will be joining Harris Broadcast as the long-time provider of video and communications technology and services to broadcasters and satellite and cable TV companies undergoes significant changes, as well. In July, Harris Broadcast appointed Charlie Vogt as CEO. Vogt, who spent the last nine years as CEO of Genband, where he headed up six acquisitions, is in the process of building his new leadership team and redefining the company's mission and strategy.

Englewood, Colo.-based Harris Broadcast makes a range of networking gear, including routers and test and measurement equipment; video playout products, including video servers and asset management systems; and TV and radio transmission products.

On November 5, Vogt posted a blog that encapsulated his first 100 days with the company and the ongoing process of “redefining Harris Broadcast.” Part of that process included the launch of a new, simplified company web site and a message about the company’s current heading as technology and business models of its customers continue to shift.

“Our industry is poised to undergo transformational change as baseband is increasingly carried on IP, business management tools move to the cloud, and playout and networking solutions benefit from virtualization and both linear and nonlinear/VOD delivered everywhere,” Vogt wrote.

One source said Harris Broadcast’s revised strategic direction and Reynolds’ desire to be based in the Denver area full-time were among the elements that factored into his decision.