First, thanks to Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg (and Wall Street Journal and News Corp) for making a lot of the content from the seventh annual All Things D Conference available on the web for free. A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away both Kara and Walt were very good to me. It’s nice when they can continue being good without having to do anything and they did so by having NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker speak with Kara at the All Things D conference.
The clip below is edited down to about 10 minutes, but I recommend watching it even if he didn’t say the word “Chuck” even once in the video, or perhaps precisely because he didn’t! Ben Silverman isn’t mentioned either.
I thought he was mostly pretty candid, particularly with regard to Leno where he said that the number one reason that happened was that they didn’t want to see Jay walk across the street and work for someone else. I think he hedged, but only a little, when it came to the importance of lower cost in the 10pm decision for next year.
Kara can be a bit combative and at one point veering off a discussion about Hulu, Zucker said that YouTube was built on the back of NBC content (an SNL clip) but Kara wasn’t really having any of that and it was a bit amusing. More amusing still was when Swisher asked Zucker point blank about whether Hulu was making any money and said she wondered if their All Things D conference wasn’t more profitable (since Hulu isn’t profitable yet and the conference definitely is, that was kind of like shooting fish in a barrel for Kara, but still…)
It’s probably not fair or right, but I can’t look at Zucker without thinking about the Mel Cooley character on the Dick Van Dyke Show (played by Richard Deacon). But to me, Zucker sounds almost exactly like Bob Costas and could’ve had an alternate career as a broadcaster.
Since we’re at least tangentially on the Jay Leno/NBC kick, here’s a clip of Billy Crystal on tonight Tonight Show.
And here’s the “Only 1 Day Left” of Jay Leno clip: