Zucker on Charlie Rose Show–Rose: NBC in ‘Shambles’; Zucker: That’s ‘Unfair’

Jan 19, 2010  •  Post A Comment

In an interview on PBS’ “Charlie Rose” on Monday, NBC Universal head Jeff Zucker said he had shown leadership and “guts” in his handling of the Jay Leno-Conan O’Brien drama, Reuters reports.

He said his job was to take chances, noting, "Nothing tried, nothing gained."


When Rose opened the show saying that NBC was in "shambles," Zucker’s immediate retort was that that assessment was "unfair" to the people who worked at the company.

In hindsight, Zucker said  the move of Leno to prime time was a mistake, adding "And I think it’s the sign of a leader to step up and say, you know, when something’s not working, to have the guts to reverse it. Leadership is about taking chances and taking risks. And also, leadership is about acknowledging when they don’t work."

To watch the entire interview, and or read a complete transcript of the interview, click here, which will take you to the webite of the ‘Charlie Rose Show.’.


–Elizabeth Jensen and Chuck Ross




  1. Zucker should not be allowed to speak on this anymore. He messed up and there’s no way around it. What he does isn’t about risk.
    If he were driving, what he does in business would be considered reckless endangerment.

  2. Memo To Mr. Zucker:
    “Too Little, Too Late,” and not the portion on your dinner plate either….

  3. Jeff Zucker made a crucial mistake in losing an asset such as Conan O’Brien. It is true that Jay Leno had amazing ratings at the time, and maybe Jay Leno stepping back into the Tonight Show sot light will last a little while longer, but for how long. Leno is in the age of Baby Boomers, which is on it’s way out of television with the next few years. Conan O’Briens audience demographic is generation y, which is on it’s way in. Zucker got rid of the person who built a great following among the generation y demographic. Who is going to take over? Fallon? This “initiative” that Zucker took will cost NBC Universal millions of dollars no doubt. Know your audience and you won’t make clouded decisions. A first grade business student would not have made the same mistake. Zucker says it’s “unfair” the way the media is treating him, was it fair for the 200 people employed at the Tonight Show to lose their jobs? You do the math.

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