NBC, CBS At Odds on How to Survive

Zucker trumpets new model; Moonves aims for hit shows
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 22, 2009 2:45 PM CDT
Jeff Zucker, President and CEO of NBC Universal, and actress Tina Fey are seen in a 2008 photo.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – America’s oldest TV broadcasters see very different roads ahead as they navigate today’s world of splintering audiences, Advertising Age reports. NBC is carving a new path, dropping five hours of potential scripted shows a week for a nightly Jay Leno show, and banking on its cable channels. CBS, meanwhile, is committed to big broadcast hits to keep viewers watching.

“The only sure way to declare defeat is to say, ‘I’m going to keep doing it the same old way,” says NBC’s Jeff Zucker, known for bucking established models. But CBS boss Leslie Moonves, known for expert programming, holds that the old way still works. “There’s a big difference between the model being broken and not being able to find any hit shows for years,” he says.