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July 22, 2014

Jeff Zucker to Leave NBC?

by Scott Harris, posted Jun 2nd 2010 2:40PM
According to The New York Post, NBC Universal President and CEO Jeff Zucker has reached an agreement to step down and leave the network once Comcast completes its acquisition of NBC from current parent company General Electric.

Zucker, who began at NBC as a low level research assistant back in 1986 and worked his way up through the ranks, became CEO back in 2007 and recently had his contract extended by GE and Comcast, who announced that Zucker would continue in his position until 2013 in order to oversee the transition. However, while Comcast still denies this latest batch of rumors, sources close to Zucker insist that he has agreed to a buyout and will be departing just "a couple months' after the sale is finalized.
Assuming those sources are correct, it now appears that Zucker is in line to receive a severance package of roughly $30-40 million. While not a bad haul for someone making a base salary of $6.5 million per year (plus a guaranteed minimum "bonus" of at least $1.5 million), it should be noted that the amount still falls short of the severance deal Zucker himself was forced to give ousted 'Tonight Show' host Conan O'Brien earlier this year.

So what's in store for Zucker if he does end up leaving NBC? While details are still understandably sketchy -- those in his inner circle indicate he may actually be leaning towards the political arena for his next gig rather than the entertainment industry -- we're pretty sure that, at the very least, he won't be following in CoCo's footsteps with a live stage show.

Joking aside, though, the departure of Zucker is the clearest indication yet that Comcast is committed to trying to shake things up in its effort to revive last-place NBC from the ratings sinkhole it has found itself in over the last few years. And there's no shortage for candidates hoping to take on the challenge: Among those already vying for the position are two women -- Bonnie Hammer, president of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment and Lauren Zalaznick, president of NBC Universal's women and lifestyle networks -- and two Jeffs, Jeff Gaspin, chairman of NBC Universal Television Entertainment and Jeff Shell, president of programming at Comcast.

Whoever ends up with the job, however, will still be answering to Steve Burke, the COO of Comcast, which may provide the ultimate explanation for Zucker's departure. Because despite what the old adage says, in the television business, two heads is not better than one: it just means that one of those heads is bound to roll.

And based on NBC's performance, it looks like that head finally belongs to Jeff Zucker.

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About damn time.

Failure and arrogance combined should never be tolerated, and no one can say that NBC will survive the recent disasters without taking this action.

And while you're at it, fire that prick Dick Ebersol also for kicking Conan while he was down.

Good riddance.

June 02 2010 at 11:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ac

I would vote for Sarah Palin for president before I'd ever consider voting Zucker into any political job. And that is saying a LOT.

June 02 2010 at 6:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sid

I'm generally opposed to these golden parachutes, but this is one guy they really should pay to get him as far away from the company as possible.

June 02 2010 at 4:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ben

Surprise it took this long. This doesn't surprise me that Jeff Zucker is leaving I thought he was done once Comcast gets NBC I was for that deal. I would never vote Jeff Zucker for any office I wonder if O'Reilly would enter the race if Zucker ran LOL since I know how much O'Reilly doesn't like the guy.

June 02 2010 at 4:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jimmy_MO

Long, long overdue.

June 02 2010 at 3:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
C.A.

Good riddens indeed!

June 02 2010 at 3:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Edward

I hope Jeff Gaspin moves into the position!

June 02 2010 at 3:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
H

I will literally vote for ANYONE opposing this man just to keep him out of office. This might actually mean crossing party lines, but it'll be worth it.

June 02 2010 at 3:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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