In the wake of the Leno/Conan bruhaha it’s not terribly surprising that today’s LA Times takes out the long knives for NBCU’s Jeff Zucker. They’re the Hollywood company town paper, and he’s definitely not a company town guy.
Nevertheless, his peers at CBS, ABC and Fox are just as much corporate business people as he is, but they attract far less heat. I think Zucker draws particular ire because he just doesn’t care to dress up what he does (or says) to appeal to the industry creatives to the extent the other folks do. It hasn’t hurt him in the past, I wonder if it will this time.
NBC’s Leno flip-flop, which is shaping up to be one of the biggest debacles in television history, underscores how Zucker, who views himself as a maverick and a champion of change, now faces a decidedly different legacy. Instead of the mogul with moxie who transformed television — he called for “a re-engineering of our businesses from top to bottom” — Zucker might better be remembered as the guy who plucked the peacock.