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Jeff Zucker - It's Time To Suck It Up - OnMedea

Jeff Zucker - It's Time To Suck It Up

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jeff_zucker_jay_leno.jpgOK, Jeff, it's time for you to man-up, nut-up, suck-it-up, eat-it (all those things) and fix this late night issue before it becomes even more of a train wreck. 

It's very simple: 

  • Fire Conan O'Brien and give him all the compensation he is owed as part of a separation deal.  (Don't be a pussy, Jeff, let Conan go to Fox or ABC and pull in an average 2.3/5 share.  Who cares?);
  • Re-install Jay at 11:35 on The Tonight Show and be done with it.  (Jay will quickly become the late night King again because my grandmother "really likes those headlines");
  • Find some old Law & Order's laying around that you can air until you develop a couple of decent shows.
Yes, you may have to deal with a couple of months of bad press ("NBC Screwed Conan"... "Jay Not The Right Man"... "Jeff Zucker Sucks At His Job"... etc.) but it will pass and things will be back to where they were last May (with NBC in fourth place - but not late night).  It will all be like a horrible dream and we'll all wake up with Bobby Ewing in the shower.

jeff-zucker-783490.jpgBut these steps need to be taken immediately.  In order to save you some time, I've drafted your opening comments at the press conference that you should have this afternoon:

"Good afternoon.  Thank you for coming.  [Insert Nikki Finke joke here - something about her always being prompt and in the front row.]  I'd like to take a few moments to discuss our line-up of new dramas at 10pm which will premiere after The Vancouver Olympics.  Just kidding - we don't even have a fucking pilot!

No, I'm here to discuss The Jay Leno Show situation.

[cameras clicking - reporters jostling for position]

Last year, I made a horrible mistake.  Ben Silverman actually made the mistake... but I digress. 

For some asinine reason, we thought we could put Jay Leno on at 10pm and people would actually watch it.  I thought our affiliates would be so happy to have a topical program hosted by one of America's most beloved comedians as a lead in to their local news. 

I was way fucking wrong on that assumption. 

It could have been worse.  I could have announced that we were merging with AOL or that I had re-hired Ben Silverman to run the network.  

So... in order to make things right.  I am officially reinstating Jay Leno to The Tonight Show and have paid off the remainder of Conan O'Brien's contract so that he may pursue other opportunities at other networks.  Conan was a great asset to NBC and a huge talent and we wish him nothing but the best - but we've decided to go back to Jay at 11:35. 

Anyone who has an drama series ideas or any pilots in the can, please have them delivered to Angela Bromstad's house immediately.

I will now take your questions."

Do it, Jeff.  It's not too late to fix things.

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea

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Molly Glover said:

Sounds logical. I hate Jay - but I don't watch any of the late night shows.

Hollywood Producer said:

I read on The Daily Beast that Conan's pay off would be $45 million.

lenofinished said:

How long did Leno get before his ratings came upa when he took over for Carson, not including all the permanent guest hosting he did? Ever read all the manipulation tactics Leno has pulled? At least, Carson knew when to retire, he didn't whine and threaten to go to another network, wreak havoc on the new chair's chances, then blame the host's for his new failing show and want his old job back. Zucker, quit trying to change history and save your job and Leno's manipulating ass. The only ones with an ounce of class are Conan and Jimmy.

helpstorememberhistory said:

I love the Leno fans who forget that Leno's ratings sucked for almost two years before he was able to beat Letterman's. At least Leno was given a real chance instead of this B.S. Leno obviously has no class or else he'd choose to walk. If he is put back in on the Tonight Show, it will signal the end of any class associated w/ that show. Leave it to NBC to handle something so well.

Jill kennedy said:

Hey Helpstorememberhistory,

I agree with you. I'm not defending Leno. I'm just saying the smart business decision would be fire Conan AND PAY HIM HIS FULL CONTRACT ($60 MILLION OR WHATEVER). There is no question that Leno will always get higher ratings than Conan. People who watch these shows just don't get Conan - or Dave for that matter. Leno is a middle of the road, warm and safe guy who does headlines and Jaywalking. That's all the 50+ crowd wants.

NBC doesn't want Jay going to ABC or Fox and killing them in the ratings which would then give ABC and Fox a toe-hold into late night. NBC just can't take that chance. Conan wasn't working at 11:35. Simple as that.

so I agree that Conan is the one getting screw and I wish Leno would have walked before he even did the 10:00pm thing. But that's not the world we're living in.

Voice of Reason said:

Wow, Jill. Why so down on CoCo? You've made this statement in a couple of posts:

(Don't be a pussy, Jeff, let Conan go to Fox or ABC and pull in an average 2.3/5 share. Who cares?);

That's awfully presumptuous, don't ya think? I mean, considering Conan's huge talent advantage over Leno and the fact it took Leno two years to get over on Letterman, I'm thinking that especialy after Conan's new found viewers (ratings are up more than 50%) that it probably wouldn't take CoCo half as long to pass Big Jaw in the ratings - no matter where he ends up. I think Conan has built up more of a fanbase after this whole fiasco than people are aware of. I sure don't see anyone holding rallys out in the rain for Mr. Chin. You heard it here first....I think this will all come back to bite Jay and NBC in the ass in September when Conan get's his new gig. 2.3/5? Seems a little low to me. This will turn out to be a colossal mistake by Jeff Fucker.

Jill Kennedy said:

You are indeed a voice of reason... but only think of things as a business right now, VOR. Yes, after all the shit that has gone down, Conan is the much more likeable guy. And how about I give Conan a 8.0/12 share during HIS FIRST WEEK ON FOX (as a curiosity). The Jay Leno Show would have been considered a hit show if we only take first week ratings into account.

I'm talking about mid-October, once Conan has settled in. That's where the 2.3/5 rating comes in. Remember, he'll be competing directly with The Daily Show and Colbert now.

As a business, mass audiences just don't get Conan. They get the warm, safe comedy of Jay - Jaywalking and Headlines.

Where were all those fans holding rallys in the streets in August. And where were all those fans giving Conan great ratings so that this wasn't an issue. They weren't there. And there is a reason for that... they don't want to watch his show. Nothing personal against Conan. He wins the nice guy award here. They just don't want to watch his show. Especially on Fox. Do you realize how short a leash the Fox affiliates will have with Conan knowing that The Simpsons were doing pretty good at 11:00?

Voice of Reason said:

I guess I just don't agree. I think it took some national attention for people who have never tuned in to Conan before to actually watch his show and it seems that they like what they've seen because his ratings are holding strong. And even though I don't agree with you, I still think you're cute 8)

Currently traveling between Miami and Florida, reading this on my Iphone. Will read it in full when I get back, and I will also post a backlink on my website. Thanks.

Voice of Reason said:

Thanks for the update, save environment. I will sleep soundly now.

Kitty White said:

I enjoyed this. Needed more pictures though.

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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About Medea

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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