Sources tell me that fired NBC Universal boss Jeff Zucker has been holding mini town hall meetings with company employees and in two different gatherings started crying and had to stop to re-compose himself. Yesterday was the latest breakdown. Last week, he actually closed his office door and cried. So suddenly now he actually shows his humanity after spending most of his tenure bullying the staff? What a putz.
COMCAST-NBCU: Ted Harbert And Bob Greenblatt To Run NBC, Pat Fili-Krushel Also Coming, Fired Jeff Zucker Weeping
2ND UPDATE: Comcast’s new NBC Universal boss Steve Burke is supposed to finalize his new organizational structure and announce it today. We’d told you previously that Ted Harbert, president and CEO of the Comcast Entertainment Group, might be getting a big new job: it’s alongside former Showtime entertainment president Bob Greenblatt, and the two men will run NBC as equals reporting to Burke. Harbert will oversee stations, affiliates, and sales in NYC while Greenblatt will run programming and possibly marketing as well in LA. These are just two of the big changes that couldn’t wait for FCC regulatory approval, not if NBC wanted to have a development season. As it is Greenblatt and Harbert may not physically take the reins at NBC until mid-January, sources tell us, which is late for this pilot season. ”It’s going to be a long, steep, uphill climb in a tough world,” one insider described to us. “At least those GE boobs will be out of the way.” Meanwhile, sources tell us that fired NBC Universal boss Jeff Zucker has been holding mini town hall meetings with company employees and in two different gatherings started crying and had to stop to re-compose himself. Yesterday was the latest breakdown. Last week, he actually closed his office door and cried.
The NBC operations job was previously discussed with chairman and CEO of Fox Networks Group Tony Vinciquerra and CBS Corp’s Nancy Tellem who we’re told “agonized over the decision and went back and forth and wound up somewhere inbetween” after talking to Burke and Greenblatt about it. Sources tell us that Tellem wanted Greenblatt to report to her, but Burke made it clear he had made a commitment that Greenblatt would have unfettered access to him. So Tellem kept pondering until Burke moved on without her in the past 10 days.
Also in the mix will be Pat Fili-Krushel, the former president of the ABC television network and most recently EVP of Administration of Time Warner Inc. She’ll be taking over NBCU’s HR, legal, and other administrative areas. In her role with Time Warner, she worked closely with the other members of Time Warner’s senior management team and its operating divisions on a variety of organizational, developmental and diversity issues. Her responsibilities included oversight of philanthropy, corporate social responsibility, corporate human resources, worldwide recruitment, employee development and growth, compensation and benefits, and security. Burke knew Fili-Krushel from his days at Disney/ABC.
Comcast Programming group president Jeff Shell will be based in London in an international post. NBC cable’s Bonnie Hammer will oversee USA, Syfy, and E!, while Lauren Zalaznick will run Bravo, Oxygen, and Style. We also hear that G4 will mostly likely go to Hammer, and Telemundo to Zalaznick. Sources tell us that today’s announcement won’t mention Angela Bromsted who may or may not survive all these changes, depending on the source, or that eventually Greenblatt may possibly bring in outsiders including Jennifer Nicholson Salke and Danielle Gelber.
Katie Couric, Alec Baldwin, Brian Williams, Mark Feuerstein and Lorne Michaels took turns roasting outgoing CEO of NBC Universal Jeff Zucker at the Center for Communication’s annual Frank Stanton award luncheon at the Pierre Hotel in New York today. According to news reports, Couric, in a subtle reference to the recent comments by Rick Sanchez that Jews control the media, called Zucker “living proof that Jews may control the media, but that doesn’t mean they’re good at it.” She took a shot at both NBC’s and her own ratings woes at third-ranked CBS Evening News. ”There’s no surprise he was drawn to a game where the lowest score wins,” she said about Zucker, referring to his passion for golf. “He showed me that being in third place really isn’t that bad.” Michaels gave Zucker props for keeping Conan O’Brien on The Tonight Show in the show’s final week when the comedian was blasting the NBC Uni CEO night after night. “I doubt that would have happened at CBS. It definitely would not have happened at The Walt Disney Co. – they’re far too well run. Possibly at Fox.” Williams said the award has “a kiss of death” to it, a reference to the fact that former Viacom CEO Tom Freston too was pushed out of Viacom just a few weeks before receiving the Frank Stanton award.
Zucker also played off the coincidence, warning other industry types who get the news that they would be honored by the …
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. To Philadelphia. That is, if you’re NBCU chief Jeff Zucker. I’m sure long beleaguered GE shareholders, and soon to be beleaguered Comcast shareholders (that is, if Zucker stays on after the merger) are overjoyed to hear that, on the eve of what’s being described as the most intensely competitive opening week for broadcast networks in recent memory, Zucker was giving a speech to Wharton students. About the science of good leadership. Because he’s supposed to be an expert. ”After all, we’re not paying $80,000 a year to end up in middle management,” archly wrote the official Wharton account of the mogul’s visit. ”Who better to teach us the skills of leadership than NBC Universal’s president and CEO Jeffrey Zucker.” Stop laughing, readers.
Even the Wharton account of his Thursday visit had little positive to say about NBC under Zucker. His “committing to ideas outside of the boundaries of generally accepted business practices … [was] super-sized episodes of Friends, adding 10 minutes to each show. ‘I was willing to take chances and it worked,’ he said.” Zucker as always wanted to talk only of the cable networks which his predecessor Bob Wright had left him. ”If we didn’t have the NBC network, people would think we were the best entertainment company.”
But it was Zucker’s philosophical words to the kids that I particularly relished: ”‘Content is king,’ he said. ‘It’s cheap to be first, but it’s expensive to be right.’ While Zucker acknowledged …