Life after Google: Schmidt eyes talk show shtick

January 24, 2011

GERMANY/What do you do after ten years running one of the world’s most successful and feared companies?

If you’re Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, it seems the role of television talk-show host holds some appeal. The 55-year-old Schmidt, who in April will hand over day-to-day control of Google to co-founder Larry Page, has been working on developing a show that would feature him as the host, according to the New York Post’s Page Six.

The article does not say exactly what type of talk-show Schmidt wants to emcee.

Will Schmidt, who has toiled in the tech industry for decades, cast himself as a feel-good self-help guru a la Dr Phil, or might he see a model of inspiration in Jerry Springer’s tireless work chronicling the everyday dramas and disputes of regular Joes?

If the morning crowd is Schmidt’s cup of tea, his timing may be perfect, following the recent news that Regis Philbin plans to retire.

But Schmidt may have something with a bit more gravitas in mind, given that he’s been working with Liza McGuirk, the executive producer of CNN’s “Parker Spitzer” program, according to the Post.

In fact, Schmidt has appeared as a guest on “Parker Spitzer” in the past, as well as on programs like “Fareed Zakaria GPS”, which McGuirk also served as executive producer, according to the Post.

Schmidt had a track record of making controversial comments in past television appearances (he once memorably told a TV interviewer that people who have something to hide perhaps shouldn’t do it in the first place) — something that could potentially prove an asset for a new show in need of a ratings boost.

But according to the Post, Schmidt may need to work on his delivery if the career transition is to be a success.

“Eric Schmidt has been looking for a TV job for over a year,” a CNN insider told the Post. “But the pilot he filmed with Liza was a complete disaster.”

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