Jeff Zucker: “Everybody’s Looking for a Scapegoat”
11:25 am, May 4th | by Amy Tennery
This gem of a soundbite from the Future of Capitalism blog nearly escaped our attention. Former NBC Universal President and CEO Jeff Zucker made some unusually candid remarks at an annual luncheon for the Harvard Crimson, during which he applauded General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt for doing what he calls “a very good job.”
In what must be an increasingly annoying trend for Zucker, it sounds as though the majority of the questions directed at him during this public appearance related to his mistakes over at NBC.
“Asked by another questioner about his own failures and what he learned from them, Mr. Zucker said, ‘I was not able to get NBC Entertainment, our prime-time schedule, turned around.’ He said of the network prime-time shows, ‘It was 5 percent of our bottom line, but it was 105 percent of our perception.’
‘I put two people into those jobs, and they both failed,’ he said. ‘I screwed that one up twice.’”
Also on the docket? Questions over whether he steered MSNBC toward a more liberal slant (“We didn’t have a secret meeting where we said, ‘maybe we should just go left’”) and whether, under his guidance, CNBC fed the economic crisis (“Everyone’s looking for a scapegoat”).
Maybe he can turn things around with Couric?