Last year Les Moonves and Bob Iger made a splash when they turned up at CES. It was all about media and technology working together, healing those old alley-vs-valley wounds, not suing each other, etc. Jeff Zucker had not yet been minted CEO NBC U, so he was left out of the party. This year, NBC U is practically moving into the place. Zuck himself won’t get a keynote address, like Les and Bob did last year, and we don’t actually know if he’s going to show up. But from the looks of this release, just about everyone else at NBC U is, including Beth Comstock (Silicon Alley 100 No. 28) and George Kliavkoff (No. 24).
NBC News, MSNBC, Sci Fi, Access Hollywood, iVillage, CNBC, the Today Show and Telemundo will all be reporting live from the floor. Brian Williams will unveil a redesigned “Nightly News” site Monday, as he preps for the New Hampshire primary the next day. They’re building a 5,400 square foot McMansion of a trade show booth, er, “experiential platform” for NBC U news, sports, entertainment and film content.
Will it matter? NBC U under Zucker loves to make big, symbolic statements on digital, like his vow to book $1 billion in digital revenues in 2007. But CES is all about big, symbolic gestures that don’t have much heft. Unless NBC U announces something concrete — and really newsworthy, like a reconciliation with iTunes — it’s not going to rise above the cacophony.
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