Friday, November 6, 2009

I Heard it from Howard

NBC is for sale.  The network is a shell of what it used to be.  Jeff Zucker's done an excellent job of destroying the Peacock.  The last stroke was putting Jay Leno on at 10 p.m.  I have nothing against Leno, but it's as though Zucker gave absolutely no thought of what it would do to the late newscasts at the local affiliates.  NBC owns nine affiliates, several in the biggest markets.  So far Leno's not done any ratings favors for those O & O's or the hundreds of other affiliates around the country.

That's why something I heard from the King of All Media Howard Stern makes sense.  Stern believes that if Comcast is successful in its bid for NBC it will abandon the last hour of prime time.  Stern hates Leno and I think his fantasy is for Jay to fail and for Comcast to realize Zucker's folly and pull the plug.

But there's some reasonable rationality to Stern's prediction.  Prime time programming costs are ridiculously expensive.  I think a lot NBC stations would welcome the opportunity to put on newscasts against the rival FOX stations.  Given the shrinking viewing numbers during prime time the move would make sense, however the last time I checked a ratings diary that last hour of prime time still catches the most viewers. 

I'm not holding my breath but I am wondering if Comcast is listening to Stern.

1 comment:

  1. "Late news" at 10pm is the tradition in the Central Time Zone. I wonder if affils would be willing to slide all of "prime time" up an hour... 7pm-10pm on the coasts, 6pm-9pm in fly-over...

    Of course, the big question is why do we even have an affiliate system anymore. The nets should just distribute themselves by satellite and cable. Fill what used to be "local" with whatever they want out of the archive, or even day-after repeats of prime.