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Jeff Gaspin - What The Hell Was That? - OnMedea

Jeff Gaspin - What The Hell Was That?

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jeff_gaspin.jpgThe Jay Leno Show cancellation announcement by Jeff Gaspin - Chairman NBC Entertainment - was handled in just about the worst way possible.  It should have so simple:  Announce the news; admit it was mistake and talk about the exciting changes to come.  That's it. 

Instead, Jeff Gaspin's announcement at the TCA Winter Press Tour was a stunning display on how not to do something.  He was defensive (even blaming other parts of the company) and basically said he didn't really know what they were going to do next.

Let's break down the key quotes:

Gaspin:  "I would have liked nothing more than to give this (The Jay Leno Show) a 52-week try."  (You're the freakin' Chairman of NBC Entertainment - don't you have the power to give it a try for as long you'd like no matter who is against it?  Especially if you would have 'liked nothing more'?

Gaspin:  "This was not an issue for the network..." (No, of course not, NBC kicks ass!  Fourth place ass.  But it still kicks ass!)

Gaspin:  "... it was an issue for our affiliates."  (That's it, blame another part of your company.  One great leadership trait is knowing whom should be blamed in a time of crisis.)

Gaspin:  "We were making money at 10 p.m.  I think, over time, ('Leno's' ratings) might have started to grow.  For the network, it was not yet a wrong decision."  (You really went out on a limb on that one.  'It was not yet a wrong decision?'  What the fuck is that?  Come on, Jeff, just say 'Yes, it was the wrong decision.  We failed but we're going to fix it.'  The culture at NBC has got to change.  When the Chairman of the company is afraid of accountability, what hope is there for the rest of the executive team?)

NBC Universal_execs.jpgSo, Jeff, was "Leno" a mistake?

Gaspin:  "I don't think it's wrong to take chances.  We might have been too early on this one."  (Ah, I see... you're just ahead of your time.  The world is not ready for the bold programming choices coming from NBC.  The world is not ready for a powder puff monologue followed by lame celebrity interviews at 10pm.  Fight on, lone ranger, one day the world will catch up to your vision.)

You want to know how to avoid a "PR Issue", Jeff - nut-up and take the blame for a mistake.  Obviously, your boss Jeff Zucker is too much of a wimp to acknowledge failure.  As I said in October, it's a stupid TV show that didn't work - it's not that big of a deal.  It was a programming choice that didn't work.  Simple as that.

Now, get out there and make the best "Law & Order" spin-off that you can. 

Godspeed, Jeff Gaspin.

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea

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Molly Glover said:

This entire Jay Leno Show debacle has been a great lesson in how NOT to do something. Good point, Jill. Brian Roberts at Comcast should just clean house completely after the acquisition is complete.

Hollywood Producer said:

A very bizarre press conference. I agree Molly, this whole thing has been as amateurish as they come. Comcast should bail on the NBC deal or at the very least replace senior management.

About Jill Kennedy

Jill Kennedy - Blogger - OnMedea Jill Kennedy is an Ivy League MBA / refugee from Lehman Brothers.

Manka Bros. (and the Manka Business Channel) hired her (for a very low sum) to cover the world of media (not the world of Medea) in her own words without corporate interference.

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Medea Medea was a real bitch from classical mythology - as most famously dramatized by Euripides.

She was a sorceress and wife of Jason, whom she assisted in obtaining the Golden Fleece. When Jason deserted her, she chopped up their children. One could say, Medea acted as rationally as a major media company.


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