My old friend Brian Roberts called me in a panic last night.
[A little back story: Brian and I go way back to my days in King Khan (my 1970s rock band). Brian filled in one night on bass and was absolutely horrible. For some reason, he thought he would be able to rock and get chicks without even knowing how to hold the damn instrument. I fired him after one song. Audience member Dexter Clangfree jumped on stage and finished the show (and became our full time bass player). Brian still hung around the band like a groupie and we eventually let him into our inner circle. We called him “Bogart Brian” because once you passed him a joint, you never got it back.]
Anyway… Brian called me last night in an absolute drunken panic about this upcoming disastrous acquisition of NBC Universal. The first words out of his mouth were: “Khan, what the fuck am I doing? This is madness. Why would anyone in their right mind overpay for a failed broadcast network and failed movie studio! Didn’t you read ‘The Curse of the Mogul’?”
I told him he wasn’t in his right mind but added that ‘The Curse of the Mogul’ is complete bullshit and he shouldn’t pay any attention to what the jealous, wannabe mogul hacks who wrote that book had to say.
I continued: “Manka Bros. is the world’s largest media company. There is no disputing that – and there wasn’t one mention of Manka Bros. it that goddamned book! All credibility is lost right there. And these fuckers are going to tell me that being the biggest isn’t a competitive advantage? Put Mike Tyson in a boxing ring with Wally Cox and tell me that size isn’t a competitive advantage!”
There was a pause. I could hear ice clinking through the other end of the phone. I knew Brian was drinking heavily.
I finished my thought: “That said… this Comcast / NBC deal is fucking stupid. You should do what Tiger Woods didn’t do… pull out.”
Brian whimpered like he always does when in a tight corner: “I can’t do that, Khan. There is something… bigger at hand here. I can’t talk. They’re watching my every move. ZUCKER CROWS AT DAWN!… I’m sorry, Khan, I’ve put your life in danger. Pray for me!”
He let out an anguished grunt which was followed by a muffled click… and he was gone.
Zucker Crows At Dawn? Poor Brian. Another successful brainwashing by Jeff Zucker – who continues to amaze me in his ability to fail upward. Somebody should just fire that guy before more people lose their minds.
P.S. – To all Comcast shareholders… SELL SELL SELL!