NBC CEO Zucker regrets primetime problems

MUMBAI: NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker, who will be leaving the company when Comcast takes control of it, has accepted the responsibility for NBC‘s failures in primetime.

Zucker was speaking at the 38th annual UBS Global Media and Communications Conference last Wednesday in New York.
Averred Zucker, "Obviously it was my responsibility and I didn‘t get that right. I didn‘t find the right people, find the right shows, and that was my responsibility. I never got the team right, until recently."

However he avoided blaming himself for nixing scripted programming at 8 pm or moving Jay Leno to 10 pm.

The CEO added that about 80 per cent of the people he put together in the executive leadership team at NBCU will continue to run the company. "I got almost all of them right. The one place I didn‘t get it right was NBC Entertainment."

But Zucker mentioned that from the financial point of view NBC and primetime comprise very small portions of NBC Universal‘s financial statistics.
"NBC primetime is 5 per cent of our bottom line, but it‘s 105 per cent of our perception," he said. "From a business standpoint, it was a deminimus part of our bottom line but my ability to get it fixed has attracted all the headlines. It‘s probably the biggest regret I have as I move on."

Zucker said that NBC has moved on from being a domestically focused broadcaster in 1996 to a cable network company. This transformation has happened in the last five years.

Zucker blamed his health issues for his NBC problems and the criticism he received for it. "Personally, I‘ve struggled with health issues," he said, recollecting his sufferings from colon cancer at the young ages of 31 and 34.

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