With NBC’s Sale on the Horizon, Should Jeff Zucker Be Polishing Up His Résumé?

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Now that the Sheinhardt Wig Company General Electric has removed all of the troublesome barriers that were preventing it from being sold to the hungry Comcast corporation, it is only a matter of time before NBC finds itself in the stead of a brand-new owner. And as anyone who has gone through a situation like this will attest, a change in ownership at a company — whether it's a mom-and-pop operation or a massive international conglomerate — oftentimes leads to a change in said company's leadership. This is exactly the fate that current NBC Universal president and chief executive Jeff Zucker is looking to avoid. But now that he no longer has Vulture hero Ben Silverman to kick around, the issue now turns to whether or not he'll be able to survive the transition.

According to a piece by Bill Carter in today's New York Times, the answer is a firm "yes." Despite widespread carping about the current state of NBC's broadcast-entertainment division — the crown jewel of NBC Universal — Carter reports that Zucker has positioned himself to remain in his current position for at least a year after the company changes hands. This news comes as a shock to some in the Hollywood community who have casually ignored Zucker's successes in NBC's news division and cable outlets (USA, Bravo, SyFy), and instead have been sharpening their claws in the wake of the Jay Leno debacle. "The next NBC affiliate meeting is going to look like a North Korean battleground," one notably anonymous "senior Hollywood executive" told Carter. Another chipped in to say that "It’s almost unfathomable that the day after the approval Comcast won’t make a change and Jeff will be out."

Well, regardless of the fathomability of the decision, all signs are pointing toward Zucker remaining in charge of NBC for the short term. But on the off chance that things end up going pear-shaped for Zucker, we hear that Notional is hiring!

Surviving NBC’s Upheaval [NYT]