I never thought that I would feel this way again about my industry in respect to its management. But, with the recent announcement of the new NBC Universal Leadership Team by Comcast Corp., I am proud to admit that I am excited about television again. That’s right. And it feels great.
Bravo to Comcast Chief Operating Officer Steve Burke on the decisions made in whom will be managing the NBC Universal brand. They have made excellent choices and that’s why I am thrilled. I became very disillusioned by the former NBC regime and felt that under that respective leadership a quality network, well, became inferior. And I got angry that no one even cared that a network built by people like Brandon Tartikoff and Grant Tinker fell into the hands of executives that seemed to not have the same respect for the medium (that Conan/Jay thing was crazy and never should have happened).
But, that all changed with one announcement that former Showtime President Robert (Bob) Greenblatt will be the new Chairman of NBC Entertainment. I have deep respect for Greenblatt and have followed his career throughout my own. Bob and I were two of the first people hired when Fox began. I remember bumping into him at the copier machines…I was in publicity and he was in programming.
What I like the most about Greenblatt is the fact that he just loves television. He is passionate about the story and how well it is done. The TV shows that he has developed and produced were significant, unique and game-changing. He has great TV sense and that is what is needed at NBC.
I wasn’t a fan of NBC, but this season I have been watching it more because of how they re-shaped Thursday night’s comedy block. Recently I LOVED “The Sing Off.” That show was pure joy. It was full of goodness and kindness and talent! I was so happy to see that mean-spirited judges can get the job done and do it much better. Amen to that. And even though, I’m a cape twirler myself, I am not a big fan of “The Cape.”
So, with each new announcement it appears that Comcast is inching closer to taking over. I will truly be happy when the switch is finally thrown. For in addition to being a fan of Greenblatt’s, I have always been impressed with the integrity in which Ralph and Brian Roberts have run Comcast Corporation. I also deeply respect the vision and executive leadership of Burke and Jeff Shell. This acquisition is going to be a good thing for everyone who LOVES content, however its delivered whether through TV sets, set top boxes, cable lines or mobile devices. Comcast will ensure that its integrity will not be compromised.
It’s a win win for American television.
A QUALITY PR DECISION
I also want to applaud NBC’s current decision to forgo an executive session during its Television Critics Association day on Thursday. That was a wise decision and I think everyone attached to it agrees. The network is not going to be faulted for not presenting executives who literally any day could be out of their respective offices. As much as I don’t wish an acquisition on any one (it’s no fun when jobs are lost), but this acquistion will benefit TV viewers everywhere. Therefore, it was actually a very classy move not to subject the outgoing cabinet to questioning at a press conference.
Comcast was present at the tour anyway when the company presented its cable properties January 5. So there’s no duck and cover there. The executives are front and center and awaiting the day that they will flip that switch.
(Note: As a form of disclosure, I have no business arrangements with Comcast or Robert Greenblatt. My endorsements are made through my personal observations of their work in the entertainment industry.)