Zucker Touts NBCU Strengths, Deflects Succession Talk

Zucker Touts NBCU Strengths, Deflects Succession Talk 1NBC Universal Television Group CEO Jeff Zucker tried to deflect attention from the odds of him succeeding NBCU Chairman and CEO Bob Wright Monday.

A few minutes after being depicted as “the next CEO” at the Credit Suisse Media and Telecom Week conference in New York City, Mr. Zucker told reporters: “I am not focused on the top job.”

Instead, the executive talked about the strength of NBCU’s cable properties, the promise of NBC prime time, the many opportunities and need for growth on the digital side of the business; and the continuing importance of TV to NBCU and especially its advertisers.

“Television remains a critical component of any brand’s advertising plan” if they want to reach the broadest and easiest-to-corral audience, Mr. Zucker said.

He said NBC has been “pleasantly surprised” by the performance of NBCU shows such as the freshman hit “Heroes” and “The Office” on such platforms as iTunes and NBC.com. “We’re going to have to explore both,” he said.