Zucker's On His Way to Killing NBC

Leno switch is the just latest in a string of dismal decisions
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2010 10:59 AM CST
Jeff Zucker in a July 10 file photo.   (AP Photo/Nati Harnik,file)
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(Newser) – He used to be network television's wunderkind, but now Jeff Zucker might go down as the man whose misguided moves dealt a death blow to NBC. The flip-flop over Jay Leno—"shaping up to be one of the biggest debacles in television history"—is just the latest of "several costly miscalculations" by the CEO of NBC Universal, write Meg James and Matea Gold in the Los Angeles Times.

Another that stands out is his disastrous hiring of producer Ben Silverman to run NBC, and then stubbornly sticking by him for two money-losing years and against all evidence that he had a clue. Zucker's main problem, say critics, is that he focuses too much on the quick fix instead of long-term strategy. Who knows, maybe NBC can rebound better than ever. And maybe it can manage to keep both Conan and Jay. But Zucker himself is in danger of going from "the mogul with moxie" to "the guy who plucked the peacock."

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