Monday, December 14, 2009
I won't waste too much time with this.
Most people who look at NBC's abysmal ratings wonder how Jeff Zucker -- the one-time wunderkind turned apparent king of an on-air sewage dump -- has been allowed to keep his job. Sure to fuel that confusion and outrage is this headline:
Reuters: Jeff Zucker Quietly Signs 3-Year Deal To Continue as President and CEO of NBC Universal/12.11.09
The fact is this: Sure, NBC's ratings blow pretty much across the board; sure, it was mostly Zucker's idea to put Jay Leno on every weeknight at 10pm, killing that time slot for the network; sure, Zucker's had to appear before the public supposedly wringing his hands and sweating over NBC's consistent fourth place ranking among the major broadcast networks, something that a decade ago would've been unimaginable. But none of that matters, and the last point in particular is little more than Zucker playing a role -- pretending to give a shit that the quality of the programming on NBC is in the toilet these days. The reality is that the shareholders, for the most part, love the job Jeff Zucker is doing -- because they could care less whether NBC's putting decent stuff on the air or is the #1 network according to Nielsen. All they care about is what Zucker's great at: making money. Yeah, NBC sucks. So what? The corporate synergy and cross-pollination among NBC Universal entities that guys like me are always complaining about -- the fact that when you turn on one NBC show there's invariably some tie-in to, or outright promotion of, another NBC property so that eventually everything NBC Universal airs, on any network or any platform, is nothing but a commercial for something else NBC Universal owns or airs -- that's what matters. Because that's what makes money.
Quality? Ratings? Decent programming? Who gives a crap about that anymore?
Those concepts are so 2000.
As long as Zucker keeps bringing in the bucks -- keeps NBC Uni humming as one giant promotion machine -- he'll keep his job, regardless of whether you watch or are even aware of one damn show in NBC's prime time lineup.