Profile: Stuart Zuckerman

Apr 1, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Title: VP, sales and marketing, “Nightly Business Report.” Previously, Mr. Zuckerman was national sponsorship director, PBS Sponsorship Group. He also is the former VP and director of sales, National Cable Communications, and former VP and national sales manager, Katz Communications.
Recent interesting deal: “A few weeks before I joined `NBR’ last March, the show’s co-production partner filed for Chapter 11, leaving a huge and immediate gap in program funding. Starting my new job therefore meant finding replacement revenue quickly. I knew we had a very marketable media asset and an integrated sponsorship opportunity that hadn’t been available in years. I targeted the top companies in a few strategic categories-professional services, automotive, telecommunications, energy. Within 30 days, we had a firm multiyear commitment from Deloitte & Touche.”
The next big thing: “Expanding `NBR’ as a content provider into other distribution channels or platforms. We have four full-time bureaus that are capable of turning out more than a single 26:45 program for one network. With PBS stations adding additional digital channels, there will be more shelf space for us to extend our brand. That may mean an opportunity to do a business and personal-finance program on public television for the growing Latino market or a long-form documentary series on a business topic for a commercial cable network like the History Channel. Also, with apologies to `Survivor,’ spots in cluttered programs will be voted off the media island. Marketers are looking for more than a :30 spot in an hour that has scores of other :30 spots. Categoryexclusive sponsorships of programs strategically targeted to that client’s best prospects will be the vehicle of choice to break through the clutter.”
Is there anything you wish you had sold more of? “Part of me wishes I had more `Nightly Business Report’ to sell, but PBS limits us to only 60 seconds of corporate underwriting at the top and bottom of each show. But that’s one of the things that makes our value proposition so special-how rare what we’re selling is. Only four marketers can have it. And once they have it, they’re likely to keep it. Compaq and its predecessor company, Digital Equipment, have been with `NBR’ since 1982, AG Edwards for 13 years, Franklin Templeton for 10. Depending on the outcome of the HP/Compaq merger, I might have an opening in January 2003.”