There was a time when publications, mostly of the dead-tree variety, would call for heads of leaders, mostly of the political kind. But in this info-stream era, everyone's an armchair studio chief, and every public figure — not just the one you voted for — is game. It was only a matter of time before somebody called out NBC chief Jeff Zucker for his disastrous moves, which culminated this week with Conan O'Brien's rejection of the network's move of the Tonight Show to 12:05 a.m. to make way for a half-hour Jay Leno show at 11:35.
In a juicy post, Defamer calls the NBC Universal chairman “a failure and an idiot.” It argues that “a child could run a network better than this.” It's not clear if Zucker was directly responsible for the network's night-time shuffle that will see Jay Leno's 10 p.m. show go away while moving the comic back to the slot where he was number one: Zucker is a level removed from direct programming decisions.
Still, Defamer makes good point after good point, starting with how Zucker has been continually promoted for unimaginative and arguably dumb moves like making the Today Show longer, hiring alleged party boy Ben Silverman to oversee programming and refusing to cut him as ratings tanked, and promising O'Brien that he'd be able to take over the Tonight Show in 2009 even as Leno was number one in ratings.
(You all know the rest of the story: Leno didn't want to go, and NBC created the prime-time Jay Leno Show to appease him and to put a cheap band-aid over its ailing lineup. It didn't work, and now NBC has said Leno will be back at 11:35, with Conan at 12:05 and the Tonight Show name staying with O'Brien. O'Brien has said no, and speculation is that NBC will buy out his contract and perhaps give the Tonight Show back to Leno).
Zucker, however, seems to have always “fallen up” through the ranks of the network. Defamer writes “it's time to go, Jeff!”