Clawing to escape the belly of the beast here in Hollywood. To commiserate, email my name assistantatlas at yahoo.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Jeff Zucker, Quitter: 5.43

And you know what they say about quitters. That's right. They never win. Ergo, Jeff Zucker is a loser.

So if you haven't heard, Jeff Zucker has ordered a slashing of staff at the venerable Peacock network.

And if you haven't heard, check out this LA Times story entitled "NBC Quits at 8: A Dark Hour for TV?"

It basically describes how the Zuckmeister and NBC-Uni Chair Bob Wright are saying that NBC was giving the kick-off primetime hour over to game shows and reality programming. Then NBC programming chieftain Kevin Reilly almost immediately reaffirmed that this was not, in fact, an accurate representation of NBC's programming strategy. Oops.

Personally, I think there may be a bit of powerplay going on here: the corporate honchos-- Zucker and Wright-- are concentrating on the basic bottom line. You know, the one that affect the millions in bonuses inevitably written into their contracts. Reilly, on the other hand, is looking at a longer-term strategy for NBC. Well, longer-term in the TV biz, anyway. This means he's looking at a 2-3 year plan of action to dominate the other networks by building new hits, supporting aging ones, and sending off the old ones with appropriate fanfare.

Currently, you can see the fruits of such a network master strategy over at CBS, where Les Moonves has created a CSI-fueled procedural and scripted juggernaut (with occasional reality hits like Survivor and The Amazing Race) that has been a consistent winner for a number of seasons. You know, right about the time NBC was imploding thanks to the loss of Friends?

But Zucker and Wright can't seem to look past their Christmas bonuses at this point. Which is why hundreds of NBC employees have gotten an early pink slip in their stockings.

Fortunately, Zucker and Wright have adopted a failing strategy. Deal or No Deal and the new Bob Saget-astic 1 Vs. 100 can't keep the network afloat forever. Even hugely-popular game shows fade-- anyone remember Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

Successful Hollywood honchos know the secret to success is that there is no secret to success. Everyone's stated goal should be to produce good programming that people will watch. Cutting costs should be secondary at most, and probably much lower on the list. Spend money to make money, guys.

Theoretically, that's what your salaries are being spent on, too.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, dear...I'm an assistant, but you're a (XXX?...position above an assistant) and you've got the deal wrong. Don't figure that everything that goes on is Zucker's fault. Don't get me wrong...Zucker is the moron to end all morons, but this isn't necessarily his fault.

Just so you know...Zucker is, at the end of the day, a god amongst executives. He could build all of LA and NYC down and he'd still keep on failing upwards. No matter what he doesn, no matter how horrible things are, he will still end up top dawg.

Yes...I want to slit my wrists, but it's true.

9:27 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get a life. Just go out and get a fucking life instead of writing this conversational crap.

7:10 PM

 
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