Zucker named new CEO of NBC

first_imgIn addition to directing NBC’s attempts to revive its prime-time fortunes, Zucker is in charge of a stable of networks including USA, CNBC, MSNBC, Bravo, Sci Fi and Telemundo. The company also owns the Universal movie studio and theme parks in Florida and California. Immelt said Zucker, who was NBC’s entertainment president from 2000 to 2005, shouldn’t solely be blamed for the network’s drop from the top in prime time. Many of the factors in the fall, like the end of longtime hits like “Friends” and NBC’s failure to jump quickly into reality TV, predated him. He also said it was a plus for Zucker that NBC has remained on top in the ratings for morning and evening news and late-night entertainment, despite the prime-time slump. NBC’s cable companies, which are either doing very well or, in the case of CNBC and MSNBC, showing signs of breaking out of longtime slumps, have succeeded under Zucker’s watch, he said. “There’s a whole lot more to NBC Universal today than just prime time,” Immelt said. “Jeff knows we want to be No. 1, and he’s committed to getting there.” NEW YORK – How Jeff Zucker handled adversity as NBC plunged to fourth place in the prime-time ratings was one of the measuring sticks General Electric Co. chief Jeffrey Immelt used in choosing him to run NBC Universal, Immelt said Tuesday. Zucker’s rise from directing Katie Couric in the morning to running a huge media conglomerate was completed when corporate owner GE announced his appointment as president and CEO of NBC Universal. He replaces Bob Wright, who has run NBC for 21 years. Zucker, 41 and a two-time cancer survivor, has essentially been trying out for Wright’s job over the past two years in running the company’s television operations. “We like the way Jeff has handled tough times,” said Jeffrey Immelt, chairman and CEO of GE. “He never got down and continued to drive the company in a positive way.” Zucker is also charged with keeping the large company nimble as the Internet transforms old entertainment habits. “This company is about producing great content in all of our divisions,” Zucker said. “The issue is how do we get that great content before new eyeballs on new platforms with new money attached to it.” The Harvard-educated Zucker knows NBC better than anyone and seems equipped to face all of the new challenges facing entertainment companies today, said C. Samuel Craig, director of the entertainment media department at New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business. “I think everyone faces the same kind of challenges because it’s uncharted territory,” Craig said. “He understands the business and is smart enough to figure it out.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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