Lack of Olympic Star Power Raises Concerns for NBC

By Andrew Gauthier 

Los Angeles Times

If only the Winter Olympics had a polar bear swim event — then we could send Michael Phelps, and everyone from the Wheaties account managers to the “Got Milk?” ad reps could take a deep cleansing breath.

It’s too late for NBC, of course, where beleaguered executives have jettisoned the First Commandment of the entertainment industry — Thou Shalt Not Acknowledge Failure and Certainly Not Before It Has Cometh. For weeks, the network has been whining that it will lose $250 million by airing the games because host city Vancouver is struggling to produce enough snow, and the United States, lacking for the first time in years a high wattage figure skater, is struggling to produce a star.


It didn’t help matters much when downhill skier Lindsey Vonn on Wednesday informed the world via Matt Lauer that her shin hurt so much she couldn’t stand up in her ski boots. More…