CBS' Les Moonves and NBC's Jeff Zucker, Goofus and Gallant

Categories: TV Business

Written By

July 8th, 2008

We're usually pretty hard on NBC's Jeff Zucker, because our primary focus is on TV ratings, and broadcast prime-time ratings at that, at which Zucker's NBC has been performing woefully this season. We cut CBS's Les Moonves a bit more slack, because while CBS can't seem to attract many young viewers, at least they can attract more viewers (at least prior to this season). We've chosen to not focus much on the non-ratings financial aspects of the TV business, but it is interesting to read the Wall Street Journal's comparison of the Moonves/Zucker rivalry as a modern Goofus and Gallant tale:

Remember Goofus and Gallant?

The cartoon strip from “Highlights for Children” magazine, a staple of dentists’ and doctors’ office waiting rooms, featured two contrasting boys: Goofus, the rude ne’er do well; and Gallant, the polite do-gooder.

Today, Goofus and Gallant reads as a dated relic of 1950s and 1960s America. As does much of American media. That is why media companies are frantically re-inventing themselves into Internet and cable television content providers.

Witness our modern-day Goofus and Gallant: Les Moonves, CEO of CBS Corp., and Jeff Zucker, CEO of NBC Universal. Moonves may have outshone Zucker as a TV programming executive, but as corporate chieftains the tables have turned.

Definitely worth reading if you're interested in the financial aspects of the television business.

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