If Jeff Zucker’s repeated utterings of the word “tremendous” are any indication, the president of NBC Universal Television Group was pleased with NBCU’s state of affairs at the Credit Suisse Media Week conference this morning at the Crowne Plaza in Manhattan. Among the things that Zucker felt were tremendous are 30 Rock, Heroes, NFL football and his cable properties.
Besides trumpeting the success of Heroes, Zucker crowed about having “the four best comedies on television” in NBC’s Thursday block, namely My Name is Earl, The Office, Scrubs and 30 Rock. On the heels of giving ratings-challenged Rock a full-season order, Zucker reiterated his love for the Tiny Fey show, calling it this season’s Office. “We’ll be patient with it,” he said. “We believe it will be a huge asset for us down the road.”
The NBCU exec also predicted big things—double digit growth, in fact–for the company’s stable of cable channels, including Sci Fi, USA and Bravo.He cited ratings being up 60% “business day” year over year at CNBC, and predicted a double-digit climb for ’07 as well.
Zucker even put a positive spin on the recent defection of high-level executives, stating that the exodus of Randy Falco, David Zaslav and, most recently, Keith Turner, was a compliment to the corporation. Not surprisingly, Zucker demurred when asked who would succeed Bob Wright as CEO. “We have a lot of talented executives in the company and are well-positioned for the future,” he said as the analysts in attendance groaned.
By Michael Malone