How’s this for awkward: NBC U’s Jeff Zucker and Viacom’s Philippe Dauman speak back-to-back at the UBS conference while behind the scenes their minions battle over the future of DreamWorks. (DreamWorks principals David Geffen and Steven Spielberg are deep in talks with GE’s Jeff Immelt about leaving Viacom for NBC U.)
NBC’s Zucker ducked the question. “We have a long history with [DreamWorks], we think the world of the people there. If the opportunity would arise it is something we would look at.”
Viacom’s Dauman, meanwhile, who recently inflamed Hollywood by declaring that DreamWorks’s contributions to Viacom are “immaterial,” tried to repair the damage by blowing smoke up Spielberg’s posterior:
“We are very happy to have one of the great film makers of our time – of all time – working with us.” Daumann said, adding he and Steven Spielberg get along great. The company wants to keep working with him, proceed with mutual respect, etc. “We’ll see in what form the relationship will continue.” Time frame? “We don’t have any time frame… whatever makes [Spielberg] happy, and makes us happy.”
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