Wednesday, July 4, 2012

NBCUniversal CEO Burke: "I Am Having Fun"

Steve Burke, CEO/President of NBCUniversal, was chatting with other executives in the Comcast family at the opening gala for the Barnes Foundation in May.

He said, "I am having fun. I am making some progress."

I repeat these words now not to gossip, but to illustrate how clueless an executive, who is paid $23.7 million,   is. It is obvious that he does not know what is going on at his network.

Today show host Ann Curry, one of the first personnel decisions made after Comcast took over NBC, left the show a few weeks later. NBC will be stuck paying Curry $10 million for the next two years. As one blog put it, Curry, who will become a foreign correspondent, will be paid more than the GNP of some of the countries that she covers. 

The Today Show brand was damaged during the personnel change. NBC's golden boy Matt Lauer was made to look like the heavy in Curry's leaving. The introduction of Savannah Guthrie, Curry's replacement, was handled as awkwardly as a teenage boy going on his first date. 

After NBC was forced to apologize for their editing of the Zimmerman tapes, you would have thought that the network would have put in steps to avoid this kind of misstep in the future. They obviously didn't.

The tapes that NBC handed over to the prosecutors in the Jerry Sandusky child abuse trial contained errors. This time, an apology will not suffice. The error on the Today Show tape, a repeat of a question by Bob Costas making Sandusky look even guiltier, could be the basis of an appeal by Sandusky.

At the end of the incredible evening, I caught NBC anchor Brian Williams, who served as the evening's master of ceremonies, on his way out. Williams' wife, who could not have been nicer, asked if I wanted to take a picture.

Williams said in his booming announcer's voice, "Hurry! We are making like the Von Trapp family. We are vamooosing to New York."

I am guessing that the "Sound of Music" is one of Williams' favorite movies.


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