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Jeff Zucker to leave NBC???

Discussion in 'TV Show Talk' started by Stuart Sweet, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. Jun 2, 2010 #1 of 14
    Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    According to this article, Jeff Zucker may be poised to leave NBC. If that's true, he'll leave it in far worse shape than he found it in 1986.

    I'll admit something: I don't know what Mr. Zucker does all day. He may be brilliant and simply a victim of circumstances. NBC may have fallen so far, just because of bad timing.

    But, sooner or later, someone's head has to roll as a result of that plunge from "Must-See-TV" to "Oh, they're still on the air?" and the logical choice would be Mr. Zucker.

    This is the man who said to the Washington Post in a 2006 interview, "It's hard to say if viewers will be less interested in unscripted programming that's not in HD when the rest of the programming is in HD, I think it's a fair question, but I'm not overly concerned about it at this point." (emphasis added)

    Mr. Zucker was not overly concerned about HD when it was the biggest thing to happen to TV since color. And while Mr. Zucker may not have been the single person who caused MSNBC to be the last major news network in HD... he may have been.

    Leave or stay, I wish the gentleman well. But I suspect NBC will be that much closer to redemption after he leaves.
     
  2. Jun 2, 2010 #2 of 14
    oldschoolecw

    oldschoolecw HarpoonIPA

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    I just hope Comcrap don’t get their hands on the NBC universe
     
  3. Jun 2, 2010 #3 of 14
    phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Northern...
    As far as I'm concerned, the time for Jeff to move was in mid-2009. He had just finished fixing his screwups in hiring, particularly getting rid of Ben Silverman who was a solid example of a talent rising to his level of incompetence.

    There is a lot of focus on what happened to the NBC broadcast network in recent years. But let's not confuse NBC with the subsidiary of GE, NBCU. The reality is that in recent years all the broadcast networks have taken significant advertising revenue hits across the board. NBC just looks worse because of ratings which are bad because of programming debacles.

    On the other hand, NBCU as a group was GE's bright spot in last year's annual report despite NBC's problems. In a timely manner, Zucker shifted emphasis to the cable channels, which produced revenue growth, and to the internet, which didn't do as well but may produce revenue growth in the long run.

    Some forget at age 21 he was hired by NBC in 1986 to research information for its coverage of the 1988 Summer Olympics and at 26 he became the executive producer of the "Today Show." He's just 45 now. At age 31 he was diagnosed with colon cancer. He's had a recurrence, chemo and a large part of his colon removed. So I guess he has a reason to be in a hurry with his life.

    What Comcast wants to buy is the strong cable channels that are Zucker's legacy. From a GE shareholder's point of view, he may have been the right guy for the time for NBCU.
     
  4. Jun 2, 2010 #4 of 14
    Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    All excellent points, old friend, but they seem to ignore the shape he's left the former flagship of the NBC empire in. Making the investors happy is a big part of an executive's job. Making the customers/end users happy is too.
     
  5. Jun 3, 2010 #5 of 14
    phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    No argument there. NBC reached rock bottom and I feared it would soon have trouble competing with The CW. For emotional reasons related to the fact that I have family ties going back to NBC radio, that upset me. Unfortunately, it isn't the best time for the broadcast nets. But I think NBC will make a slow recovery if Comcast doesn't try something weird with it.
     
  6. Jun 3, 2010 #6 of 14
    bicker1

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    Actually, not quite the way you mean. Rather, making viewers happy is a way to make investors happy. The overriding objective remains to make investors happy, and if that means letting the OTA network flag in order to invest and foster the cable networks, then that is the correct thing to do, the professional, mature and responsible thing to do.
     
  7. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    It's official. See the NY Times and LA Times articles.

    The only thing that disturbs me is this in the NYT article:
    Man, I thought we'd already reached rock bottom in our public policy. But apparently there's room for this guy to screw it up even more.
     
  8. bicker1

    bicker1 Hall Of Fame

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    He's as good as anyone else who'd be willing to bend over and take the worst the vicious self-centered American voters are likely to dish out.
     
  9. BenJF3

    BenJF3 Godfather

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    Zucker should have been booted long ago. He devastated NBC.
     
  10. bicker1

    bicker1 Hall Of Fame

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    Or made it flourish (thinking of USA, Syfy, etc.), depending on whether you like what he did or not. Funny how that works.
     
  11. BenJF3

    BenJF3 Godfather

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    Really? I'm talking about the flagship station (NBC).
     
  12. bicker1

    bicker1 Hall Of Fame

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    Then you're not really looking at what Zucker was responsible for.

    Beyond that, you're not really looking at what anyone to whom Zucker is answerable-to cares about.
     
  13. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    As a GE shareholder, I think he did fine if we can just get the Comcast deal through. NBCU was the bright spot in the financials for the one year we needed it.

    As a TV viewer, I think the cable channels did well under Zucker, the content production subsidiaries did fine, HULU is likely to continue, and he picked the worst people in the world to run NBC.

    Nobody's perfect. But I wouldn't vote for him.:rolleyes:
     
  14. bicker1

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    It's interesting, though -- your criteria, as you've outlined them, shows an unfathomable bias toward the over-the-air network. That's really the point. The future of broadcasting is not going to be solely its past. Its past is necessarily going to be only a small part, and indeed perhaps just a supporting part, of the future.
     

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