Zucker Sees Bright Side at NBCU

Jun 14, 2007  •  Post A Comment

The view from fourth place isn’t bad, according to NBC Universal President and CEO Jeff Zucker, who told financial analysts Thursday that NBC prime time is looking up and that NBCU could take in nearly $4 billion during the advertising upfront selling season. That would leave NBCU flat year-to-year at worst and up slightly at best, thanks to such growth drivers as the company’s cable, film, digital, Hispanic and international sectors.
The company finally kickstarted the upfront this week, with a $1 billion deal that includes all NBCU platforms and is based on commercial ratings up to three days after the spots aired.
Noting the drop in NBC operating profit from $900 million after finishing first in 2004 to $100 million after finishing fourth in the just-wrapped season, “That hit to our bottom line is behind us,” Mr. Zucker said.
He also said the network’s current stint in the prime-time cellar does drive perceptions about the state of NBCU and must be fixed, but he said it is “not the drag on the bottom line you might think.”
The prime-time weakness precipitated the recent exit of Kevin Reilly from his position at NBC Entertainment and the appointment of NBCU veteran Marc Graboff and longtime supplier Ben Silverman as co-chairmen of NBC Entertainment and the newly renamed Universal Media Studios.
Mr. Zucker identified several other major “headwinds” affecting NBCU: Its DVD library is not as valuable as it once was and, until NBCU operations are completely digitized, outdated analog structural costs are a drag on the bottom line.
Mr. Zucker said new targets for cost-cutting will raise to $1.5 billion the total efficiencies achieved since beginning the transition to digital and other synergies.
“We’re going to continue to make necessary changes,” he said of cost-cutting and more upbeat strategies. “We are really clicking.”
(Editor: Horowitz)


  1. Um… NBC Universal is losing money because their master controls are still using bulky analog VHS tapes instead of DVDs? Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure, Jeff. Can I have a little of what you’re smoking? ‘Cause, bud (no pun intended), you MUST be smoking SOMETHING to escape the craptacular primetime lineup of the last 3 years. Renewing tired, old ‘Scrubs’? Oh, I guess your network HASN’T learned from that spectacular failure of the final year of ‘Mad About You’. You know… when Helen Hunt just HAPPENED to win an Oscar, and demanded $1m-per-episode, and to avoid Reiser looking like the pathetic dickless jerk that he is, you gave twin raises to him, too? Um… HOW MANY episodes that you taped (oh, yeah, on money-losing VHS, right????) that you did not air because you STUPIDLY clung on to old, tired shows instead of cutting them loose and seeing your future in new upcoming shows?

  2. Neat blog layout! Very easy on the eyes.. i like the colors you picked out

  3. I love the way you write and also the theme on your blog. Did you code this yourself or was it done by a professional? I’m very very impressed.

  4. Nice!! Great Ifo. Great People. Great Blog. Thank you for all the great sharing that is being done here.

  5. Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy.

  6. High quality info here! Keep up the great work. I love the feelings being expressed.

  7. You make blogging look like a walk in the park! I’ve been trying to blog daily but I just cant find writing material.. you’re an inspiration to me and i’m sure many others!

  8. Can I just answer what a release to hit upon a big name who really is familiar with what theyre discussion regarding on the the web. You certainly recognize how to bring an problem to glow and create it significant. More public have to to study this plus realize this side of the story. I cant consider youre not extra fashionable since you absolutely have the gift.

  9. I really like the colors here on your blog. did you design this yourself or did you outsource it to a professional?

Your Comment

Email (will not be published)