Last night was the NBC holiday soiree for press. It was a crowded affair held in studio 8H–aka the fabled Saturday Night Live set– in 30 Rockefeller Center.
The evening started with Kenneth the Page from 30 Rock–actor Jack McBrayer–introducing Bob Wright in his stumbling, breathless way. Funny enough, I guess. But that is where the page should have ceased, desisted and headed to the bar. Instead, after the introduction, he held up cue cards for Wright to read. The effect was so distracting, I have no recollection of what Wright said. As the speculation has been going JeffGaspin could have been upped for all I know. I asked my co-worker this morning. She can't remember either. Then again, it might have been sheer brilliance considering Wright was addressing a roomful of media journalists dying to know what is going to happen at the network. But I figure it's only a matter of days before that breaks.
After his speech, Wright introduced Brian Williams (note: the crush continues) who was broadcast to the crowd from D.C. where he (and all the other networks) were originating because of the release of the Iraq Study Report. He made jokes, he pretended to get choked up–and then he got serious. He relayed a story about running into Sandra Day O'Connor who impressed upon him the important role that journalists play—especially right now–and it hit just the right note.
The speeches completed, the party continued. The tables were scattered with Hershey Kisses and bowls of mixed nuts, and lamb chops and scallops were in heavy circulation. Some of the merry minglers were noteworthy talent like Chris Noth, Tina Fey, Campbell Brown and Lester Holt, and some were NBC executives like TV Group CEO Jeff Zucker, Today Show EPJim Bell, USA/Sci Fi President Bonnie Hammer, Bravo President Lauren Zalaznick and WNBC GM Frank Comerford.
Bob Wright shook hands as everyone made they way out the door and scooped up their parting gift–DVD's of The Office–and to all, it seemed to me, a good night.
By Caroline Palmer