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Jeff Zucker and Peter Chernin Came By Last Night For Lobster... - Khan Manka, Jr. - The Chairman's Blog

Jeff Zucker and Peter Chernin Came By Last Night For Lobster...

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jeff zucker.jpgpeter_chernin.jpgGood morning.  My cook, Ismaralda, made lobster last night so I decided to invite a couple of my friends and fellow moguls Jeff Zucker of NBC Universal and Peter Chernin of News Corp / Fox over for dinner.  I thought it was just going to be a nice pleasant evening with some really good wine and really good food.  But I was wrong... again.  Because of my broken ankle, I hired Body By Jake to carry me around from room to room until I recovered.  He was unavailable last night because of some audition for a cat commercial so I had to manage myself on crutches.  

Jeff Zucker was the first to arrive and he set the tone for the evening when he first saw me:  "$300 million for a fucking red dot?  What are you whacked out of your skull?"  I told him he sounded like he's living in that "schadenfreude world" that he loves to talk about.  And he's absolutely right.  We are all wishing for him to fail. 

Peter Chernin came to the door right after and looked just awful.  His shirt was untucked and dirty, his tie was loose and on the outside of his wrinkled jacket.  Tears in his eyes.  I was shocked.  He always seemed to have the image of a man in complete control.  I asked:  "Peter, what happened?"  He looked up:  "Space ChimpsSpace Chimps broke my heart.  Fucking Batman!"  I could tell Peter Chernin has had a break down.  Space Chimps opened weeks ago.

I tried to cheer him up.  "Come on, Peter, it's just a movie.  It didn't work.  Manka Bros. has movies that don't work every week.  You still have your money and your power.  You've got the best margins in the business.  Things will get better."

He didn't look at me and just made a beeline for an open bottle of Slivovitz on the bar.  [Our main MBS advertiser, Slivovitz, has saved me on many occasions - including recently with Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev.]

Zucker continued his assault on me:  "And what the fuck is up with your leg?  Are you that much of a pussy?"  I explained my horrific injury.  He rolled his eyes:  "Do you realize I have two broken ankles, a dislocated knee, I'm just getting over two bouts of colon cancer, my car doesn't start regularly, there's a nail in my brain and I still managed to play 12 sets of tennis today and worked 120 hours last week in 8 different countries?!"

"I guess that's why NBC is the #4 network", I said.  His face got very red but he pulled back:  "I'm not taking that bait, Khan.  MBS' ratings are so low it doesn't even register on Nielsen and you just bought a fucking red dot for $300 million!!!"

Ismaralda came in to tell us dinner was ready.  Peter Chernin said he would meet us in a few minutes.  He had to make a call to his shrink.

As we all sat down to dinner, the conversation turned to what the industry has been buzzing about for a couple of years now - Old Media vs. New Media

This was a fascinating conversation - and I will pick it up here tomorrow.

khan_jr1_small.jpgKhan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. Studios

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Hollywood Producer said:

Khan, you entertain more than anyone I know. When are you going back to work? Not that I don't like to hear about your social life.

Ethan Rubidoux said:

I would have loved to be a fly on the wall in that conversation. Or invited.

B.O. Watcher said:

Fox has had a rough summer. If Chernin wasn't really crying he should be. The magic may be gone from Fox.

austin p said:

Do you think anyone really cares that you had lobster? I want to know what they were wearing! A tie and a coat for Peter is not enough information!

sloth said:

You're living the dream, Khan.

About Khan Manka, Jr.

Khan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. StudiosKhan Manka, Jr. assumed the title of Chairman of the Board of Manka Bros. Studios - The World's Largest Media Company - following his father Harry Manka's death in 1976. Before that he was the member of several Southern California rock bands.

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