Zucker upbeat on offbeat upfront

May 14, 2008

zucker.jpgIn one of the busiest weeks for network TV executives, NBCU’s Jeff Zucker nonetheless stopped by an Avenue A/Razorfish event for a question-and-answer session with the ad company’s vice president of media & entertainment, Domenic Venuto.

Not surprisingly, given it is upfront week, one of the first questions put to Zucker centered on his media company’s rather untraditional upfront.

(A quick refresher: NBC unveiled its lineup for 2008-09 last month, and Monday skipped its usual splashy upfront presentation at Radio City in favor of what it called the NBCU Experience over at 30 Rockefeller Center. For more details click here). 

Zucker said that while the Experience wasn’t perfect, it was certainly a success and accomplished what he had hoped, namely showing off the company’s businesses beyond the NBC network.

“I feel very, very good about how we did on Monday,” said Zucker, before joking that it was unlikely someone would roast the event to his face.

“Nobody ever wants to tell me the truth,” he cracked. “On Monday, what most people said, and many were probably drunk, is thanks and congratulations on doing something different.”

“But, really, the feedback was really positive,” he told the crowd.

He said the same thing on another topic: the reaction to video sharing site Hulu. 

“The user experience is fantastic,” he said. “That has been the No. 1 goal.”

But success comes at some cost, Zucker said.

“Frankly, all of our internal sites have a lot to learn from what Hulu has done.”

(Photo: Reuters)

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