Former president and CEO of NBC Universal Jeff Zucker made his first public remarks regarding last year’s huge late night fiasco between Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien, which resulted in O’Brian leaving the network altogether.
During a Q&A with CNN’s Ali Velshi at the Promax BDA conference in New York on Wednesday Zucker had this to say.
“I don’t regret necessarily what we tried by asking Jay to do 10 o’clock and Conan to do [The Tonight Show], what I regret is neither show worked. That’s what happened: Neither show worked. And then we had to make a decision about how to fix them…It doesn’t make me happy to say that, I regret that we had to make the decisions. There were no winners out of that. A lot of people got hurt in that process. And that was incredibly unfortunate.”
Obviously, we thought it had a chance of success…There were a lot of people who were on board [with the decision]. You probably can’t find them now. But that’s the way that goes. Ultimately at the end of the day, it’s my responsibility. Others were on the line to make the decision. But I signed off on it. So ultimately, it’s my responsibility.”
Which is not to say he thinks it was a bad decision, in fact, he asserted he still believes they made “the right decision.” Just an…unfortunate decision. Zucker was fired from NBC in September of 2010 and is currently at work with Katie Couric on her new syndicated talk show.
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