Former NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker was interviewed by CNN anchor and chief business correspondent Ali Velshi at the Promax/BDA conference in New York Wednesday. Among the topics of conversation was Zucker’s involvement with the new ABC talk show to be hosted by former “Today” and “CBS Evening News” anchor Katie Couric.
Zucker was mum about details when it came to the show, but still addressed what he and Couric believed the program should focus on:
“I think Katie is a unique brand in television,” Zucker said. “The mere fact that you can just say Katie and know who we are talking about is evidence of that. I think what people have missed for a long time is the Katie who was part of all those things I was talking about at the “Today” show, who is big enough to have fun and be serious all in one show. That is really what you will see, it is what her brand is. It is a brand that has credibility and fun. That is the hope that we take into the program, and I think there is a tremendous opportunity, and she is a person that can fill that stage and fill that void.”
“Like Oprah?” asked Velshi.
“There will never be another Oprah, and no one should even pretend that there will be another Oprah, she has got to be Katie,” Zucker said in response.
Zucker and Couric worked together on NBC’s “Today” in the early 1990’s. Zucker was the show’s executive producer, a role he took on at just 26 years old, which he still counts as a highlight of his career