Here’s reporter Verne Gay of Newsday questioning Angela Bromstad, president, primetime entertainment,NBC and Universal Media Studios and Paul Telegdy, evp, alternative programming and production, NBC and Universal Media Studios on how NBC is fundamentally trying to change how it operates moving forward.
VERNE GAY: In a lot of interviews last week or a couple of weeks ago, Jeff Gaspin [recently named chairman, NBC Universal Television Entertainment, adding broadcast to his previous cable and digital responsibilities] sort of defined your future role post-Silverman.
And he sort of described it in a couple of ways. One, it’s an evolving role and secondly, that the network is going to change somewhat. Not to put words in his mouth, but the implication was that the whole role of the network is going to, sort of, undergo an evaluation, a change, and I think it’s just not a basic model change.
But basically what you guys are going to actually put on the air going forward is something very fundamental. And, I think, [Gaspin’s] model to an extent, was either cable or something. But he was sort of saying it’s a moving target, and it’s being refined as you go forward. And these are discussions that Paul [Telegdy] and he are going to have.
[The question:… [I]s there a fundamental model change that’s about to take place? I mean, Glenn Gordon Caron the other day said that NBC sort of…felt it was in the "buzz" business, but he felt he was [not] in the broadcasting business, which is one of the reasons that, beyond money, he went to CBS or took "Medium" to CBS.
What is this sort of evolving, changing network that we are going to see in the coming years?
ANGELA BROMSTAD: Well, I think we are all trying to figure out what our evolving model is going to be. I think that it’s incredibly…naive to think that we can just keep doing business the way that we’ve done business when cable is taking…such a chunk out of network.
Look, I think that Jeff [Gaspin] being brought in [to the broadcast side of the business] is going to sort of continue conversations that we endlessly have. I think that a big thing for us — and it’s always been a big thing for me — is that we’ve just allowed shows to get way too expensive. And they’ve done it on the feature side, you know. It just…has gotten out of control, and I think that we have to find a way to bring those costs down. I think that’s number one..
I think the ability to look at the platforms, all of the NBC Universal platforms, is a huge advantage. We should be taking advantage of the success of the cable properties the way that they take success from…shows like "House" or like "Law & Order" and things like that.
So I think that Jeff is going to be looking at all of those things. We’ll be looking at it with him, but is there any specific…impending announcement? No. I think it is an evolving conversation.
Gay: But is it a USA model? …[I]n some respects, USA and Bravo are more successful than NBC. I mean, if buzz is a measure, [if] your profitability is a measure, I would imagine Bravo is —
ANGELA BROMSTAD: But…broadcast has a different business model. We are not a dual-revenue…business model the way cable is.
So we have to come up with our own solutions.
VERNE GAY: What would be a model that you would [borrow]necessarily from cable?
PAUL TELEGDY: Buzz and broadcast….[B]roadly speaking, you don’t want to sacrifice one for the other…and I don’t think…broadcast televisioncan survive without buzz, and that’s the topicality that’s been referred to earlier, and it’s also about a programming mix. #