Michael Wolff: ‘Fire Steve Burke’

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By Merrill Knox Comments

Michael Wolff makes the case that “someone at NBC should be fired” over the ongoing talent sagas at both “Today” and “Tonight,” which have largely played out in the press. Wolff writes in USA Today that NBC Universal’s Steve Burke, who “wasn’t a network television guy” when he took over as CEO, has “has found himself in the middle of an old-fashioned network drama — and losing control of the plot”:

But television is a business all about the “talent.” And the talent must be massaged and handled and finessed. Directness is not necessarily a virtue. Beating around the bush is the skill — that is, wheeling and dealing and talking from both sides of your mouth. Or, if necessary, sometimes a dead-of-night attack will do. But the drawn-out considerations of men with no apparent human feelings, or at least not tact and charm, isn’t how you get by in television and avoid the firestorm of press and gossip that will ultimately make your decisions for you.

This is what people are starting to say: Maybe even GE was a better owner of NBC than Comcast.

And, don’t fire [Jay] Leno or [Matt] Lauer. Fire Steve Burke.