Jeff Zucker NBC Universal Fireside Chat

Jeff Zucker, President and Chief Executive, NBC Universal sits down with Ellen Pollock, Executive Editor, BusinessWeek, for a one-on-one conversation at the Digital Hollywood Media Summit

Click here to watch all videos from the 2009 Digital Hollywood Media Summit.

Jeff Zucker is President and Chief Executive Officer of NBC Universal. He has held that position since February 2007.

NBC Universal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment content companies, with assets that include the U.S. broadcast networks NBC and Telemundo; cable networks USA, SCI FI, Bravo, Oxygen, CNBC, MSNBC and the Weather Channel; movie studios Universal Pictures and Focus Features; digital properties such as Hulu (a joint venture with News Corporation) and iVillage; an extensive array of international television channels in Europe, Asia, and Latin America; and theme parks in Hollywood and Orlando. Formed in 2004 through the acquisition by NBC of Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric and 20% owned by Vivendi.

Zucker has spent his entire career at NBC Universal, joining the company’s Olympic unit in 1986, straight out of college. In his more than 22 years with the company, he has had a diversified career as an award-winning producer and business leader.

He served as president of the NBC Universal Television Group from May 2004 until December 2005. Before that, he was president of the Entertainment, News & Cable Group since December 2003, and president of NBC Entertainment since December 2000. Before taking the helm of NBC Entertainment, Zucker spent nearly eight years as the executive producer of NBC News’ Today. Under his leadership at Today, the program became the nation’s most-watched morning news show and the most profitable program on television.

Zucker was appointed executive producer of Today in January 1992 at age 26, which made him the youngest executive producer in the history of the program. He also served as executive producer of NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw in February and March 1993, a post held concurrently with his role at Today. He joined NBC in 1986 as a researcher for NBC Sports’ coverage of the 1988 Summer Olympics and joined NBC News as a field producer for Today in January 1989.

A five-time Emmy Award winner, Zucker graduated from Harvard College in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in American history. He served as president of the Harvard Crimson from 1985 to 1986. Zucker is a member of the board of directors of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Temple Emanu-El, the Robin Hood Foundation, the American Film Institute, the Paley Center for Media, and the Museum of the Moving Image. Zucker’s date of birth is April 9, 1965. He and his wife, Caryn, live in New York with their four children.

Cataclysms, Disasters and Snakes with Lou Marinoff

When environments change due to cataclysms, mutations often become the solution to survival. What can companies learn from this observation? And what do Aristotle, Buddha and Confucius have to do with it?

 

I write from St. Petersburg where I ate dinner the other day in a steak house off Nevsky Prospekt. Over herring and steak and vodka, and then more vodka, a barrel chested man inquired my way, “What the hell is going on with your American finance system?”

He poured more vodka. He rubbed his chin. “It’s bad for bizness.”

“To bizness,” we toasted, and threw one back.

About this Video

Road to Innovation is a ScribeMedia/BrainJuicer co-production and includes interviews from leading practitioners and thinkers in the corporate, scientific, branding and media space as we explore change, disruption and innovation across various industries.

You can view our growing video library here, or follow us via RSS here.

And then another to American financial markets, the current maelstrom of discontent that’s rocked economies both near and far. As with the current US bailout, Russia too is pumping billions into its banking system. This follows various corporate stumbles on both sides of the Atlantic: Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy; Merrill Lynch’s shotgun sale to Bank of America; AIG’s $85 billion bailout; Fannie; Freddie; and even HBOS, England’s largest mortgage lender, ending up part of Lloyds TSB for some $22 billion.

It’s long been noted that disruption breeds opportunity. Less discussed is the testicular fortitude needed to actually adhere to the adage when our natural inclination may be to retreat to our caves, weather the storm and peer out again when a new day emerges. Indeed, calls for a protectionist revival bandaged in well needed regulation fill the air. Witness Germany striking off on its own to guarantee private deposits to the tune of $500 billion. European stock markets did, and as I write they tumble badly on news of Germany’s solo act.

Two things stand out though: global interconnectivity has never been quite so global, what with sovereign wealth funds from China to Dubai coming to the rescue of developed economies; and if we’re not actually in the cataclysm we certainly stand on the ledge as various pundits, academicians and generally clever financial types simultaneously tell us that the worst is over, the worst is yet to come, there’s light at the end of the tunnel, there’s light just around the bend. I leave it to them to someday deliver consensus.

As the Economist notes with a backhanded reassurance they’re uniquely capable of:

Unless policymakers blunder unforgivably… there is no need for today’s misery to turn into a new Depression.

Meantime, I look about the edges through the lenses of our new “globality” and current crisis. Our world is not flat, as Thomas Friedman would have us believe.

Instead, it’s filled with all sorts of geographical and meteorological hurdles. And lest we forget the endlessly fallible human element, a simple review of American Financial History, The 21st Century Edition should suffice. (And if that won’t do, let The American Foreign Policy Experience, From Old Europe to New Kabul illuminate).

With that in mind, I rejigger the metaphor to say the world is a beat up Chevy careening down a narrow mountain, potholed road piloted by a recently licensed drunken teenager. And the brakes don’t work.

Which is another way to say that while white-knuckled, we need to look, listen and learn from the world around us to ease ourselves back to some semblance of stability.

Lou Marinoff, former Canadian table hockey champion and philosopher author behind such books as The Middle Way and Therapy for the Sane, has an evolutionary take on disaster and cataclysm. It’s only at such times that we actually evolve, he believes, and innovate our way out of trouble. Otherwise we’re in permanent stasis as the world passes us by.

Manufactures and service providers have long navigated disruption and opportunity. Once upon a time, they were getting clobbered too.

Take IBM. A few years ago it sold its stagnant PC division to Lenovo, a Chinese firm that recently cracked the Fortune 500, but simultaneously grew in India from 2,000 employees at the start of the decade to upwards of 73,000 today. These moves weren’t about labor costs, but reassigning priorities and winning the talent war against global competitors in the higher margin industries it remained in.

And it’s not just traditional Western corporations that successfully innovated their way out of the globalization disruptions of the past 15-20 years. As they cast a global eye at the world, successful companies began to understand the value and opportunity of what market guru C.K. Prahalad calls the fortune at the bottom of the pyramid.

India’s Tata Group, according to a recent Economist report, operates in 85 countries, recently bought Jaguar and Land Rover, borrows liberally from the ideas of Berkshire Hathaway, Mitsubishi, and GE, and understands globalization and manufacturing not as a drive towards the lowest priced labor markets, but towards assimilating the culture of markets they wish to penetrate.

Take the Nano, Tata’s new $2,500 car developed for India’s lower middle class. With demand from Western markets that see the vehicle as an ideal second car, Tata’s modifying it to meet geographic and cultural sensibilities.

Yes, it’s a far way from financial crises and roiling markets. And, of course, it’s these troubled institutions that finance such global growth. But if we step back a moment, take a deep breath and innovate properly we just may get sober hands on the steering wheel and drive ourselves out of this mess.

Either that or, perhaps, take another shot.

Michael Wolff, Felix Dennis: Not Nuts

Video: In the latest episode of Naked Media, media critic and Vanity Fair columnist and Burn Rate author Michael Wolff tells host Dorian Benkoil why he’s not crazy for launching yet another startup, Newser.com, while Steven Kotok, general manager of Dennis’ The Week tells us why the Maxim publisher isn’t daft for sinking money into one more weekly news magazine.

In the latest episode of Naked Media, media critic and Vanity Fair columnist and Burn Rate author Michael Wolff tells host Dorian Benkoil why he’s not crazy for launching yet another startup, Newser.com, while Steven Kotok, general manager of Dennis’ The Week tells us why the Maxim publisher isn’t daft for sinking money into one more weekly news magazine. Plus: more tips for being an entrepreneur, and why Rush Limbaugh’s goose is cooked.

Inside the NYPD Episode 9 – Police Academy Training

VIDEO: No more is the image of the fat cop chomping on donuts in NYC. These men and women are trained to be the one of the greatest law enforcement agencies in the world, and it was my honor to get a first hand look at the process.

No more is the image of the fat cop chomping on donuts.

For six straight months, twelve hours a day, five days a week, these men and women endure intense mental and physical conditioning. The level of academic work they do is equivalent to approximately twenty-nine college credits. Their physical training lasts several hours each and every day. And these recruits receive detailed weapons and driving training.

These men and women are trained to be a part of one of the greatest law enforcement agencies in the world, and it was an honor to get a first hand look at the process.

I’m really looking forward to continuing my work on this series and the many more exciting episodes we have on their way.

Building the Broadband Economy – ICF 2008

Video: The Intelligent Community forum attracts a worldwide audience, interested in creating sustainable communities from the bottom up.

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John Jung, Co-Founder of ICF gives a brief overview of the BBE 2008 Conference.; ICF; Building the Broadband economy; technology; it; john jung; green; BBE; scribe media; Intelligent Community Forum; The Intelligent Community Forum presents the BBE 2008 Welcome Address by John Sexton, President of NYU; ICF; Building the Broadband economy; technology; it; green; BBE; scribe media; John Sexton; Intelligent Community Forum; The Intelligent Community Forum presents: Wireless New York by Paul Cosgrave, Commissioner, Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications, The City of New York.; ICF; Building the Broadband economy; technology; it; green; BBE; scribe media; Intelligent Community Forum; Paul Cosgrave; The ICF presents the opening Keynote of the BBE 2008 Conference- The Revolutionary Community by Nicola Villa, Global Director, Connected Urban Development, Cisco Systems.; technology; it; green; BBE; scribe media; ICF; Building the Broadband economy; cisco; Intelligent Community Forum; Nicola Villa; The ICF presents the first of 7 conversations with this year’s top Intelligent Communities. ICF Co-Founder John Jung sits down with Dr. Joe Morrow, Member, Dundee City Council.; scotland; technology; it; john jung; green; BBE; scribe media; ICF; Building the Broadband economy; Dundee; Dr. Joe Morrow; Intelligent Community Forum; The ICF presents Part 1 of the Sustainability Forum. ICF’s Executive Director Robert Bell moderates an expert panel of technologists, economists and urban planners including Bruce Mehlman, Dr. Joseph Fuhr, Ken Zita & Waikeen Ng.; it; technology; green; BBE; scribe media; Ken Zita; ICF; Building the Broadband economy; Dr. Joseph Fuhr; Bruce Mehlman; Robert Bell; Waikeen Ng; Intelligent Community Forum; The ICF presents Part 1 of the Sustainability Forum. ICF’s Executive Director Robert Bell moderates an expert panel of technologists, economists and urban planners including Bruce Mehlman, Dr. Joseph Fuhr, Ken Zita & Waikeen Ng.; it; technology; green; BBE; scribe media; Ken Zita; ICF; Building the Broadband economy; Dr. Joseph Fuhr; Bruce Mehlman; Robert Bell; Waikeen Ng; Intelligent Community Forum; The ICF presents the second of 7 conversations with this year’s top Intelligent Communities. ICF Director of Development Louis Zacharilla sits down with Mayor Brad Woodside, of Fredericton, New Brunswick.; technology; it; Mayor Brad Woodside; green; BBE; scribe media; Louis Zacharilla; ICF; Building the Broadband economy; City of Fredericton; New Brunswick; Intelligent Community Forum; The ICF presents the third of 7 conversations with this year’s top Intelligent Communities. ICF Director of Development Louis Zacharilla sits down with District Mayor Jung Ju Maeng of Gangnam District, Seoul, South Korea.; Gangnam District; it; technology; green; BBE; scribe media; Louis Zacharilla; ICF; Building the Broadband economy; District Mayor Jung Ju Maeng; seoul; Intelligent Community Forum; South Korea; ICF presents a conversation among leaders of the region’s universities on the role of their institutions in building a knowledge-based workforce. With Jerry M. Hultin & Garrick Utley, moderated by Mel Horwitch, Professor, Polytechnic University.; Garrick Utley; it; technology; green; BBE; Jerry M. Hultin; scribe media; Mel Horwitch; Levin Institute; ICF; Building the Broadband economy; Polytechnic University; Intelligent Community Forum; ICF presents a conversation among leaders of the region’s universities on the role of their institutions in building a knowledge-based workforce. With Jerry M. Hultin & Garrick Utley, moderated by Mel Horwitch, Professor, Polytechnic University.; Garrick Utley; it; technology; green; BBE; Jerry M. Hultin; scribe media; Mel Horwitch; Levin Institute; ICF; Building the Broadband economy; Polytechnic University; Intelligent Community Forum; John Jung moderates a Conversation with Lee Rainie & Jean-Claude Burgelman on the ongoing transformative role of the Internet on a global and local level, from new applications to social impacts.; ICF; it; john jung; Jean-Claude Burgelman; Lee Rainie; broadband; ScribeMedia.Org; BBE 2008; John Jung moderates a Conversation with Lee Rainie & Jean-Claude Burgelman on the ongoing transformative role of the Internet on a global and local level, from new applications to social impacts. Part 2; ICF; it; john jung; Jean-Claude Burgelman; Lee Rainie; broadband; ScribeMedia.Org; BBE 2008; ICF Executive Director Robert Bell leads a case-study conversation on Northeast Ohio, with Lev Gonick, CIO, Case Western Reserve University.; Estonia; ICF; northeast ohio; Robert Bell; Intelligent Community Forum; ScribeMedia.Org; BBE 2008; Lev Gonick; ICF Director of Development Louis Zacharilla leads a case-study conversation on Tallinn, Estonia,with Toomas Sepp, Tallinnin City Secretary.; ICF; Toomas Sepp; Tallinnin estonia; Intelligent Community Forum; ScribeMedia.Org; BBE 2008; Louis Zacharilla; ICF’s founders serve as a panel of experts responding to the case study of a community striving to develop a new economy while preserving its traditional strengths. With Dianah Neff, Senior Partner, Civitium. Part 1; john jung; Dianah Neff; Louis Zacharilla; Building Broadband Economy; ICF; sustainability; Robert Bell; Intelligent Community Forum; ScribeMedia.Org; BBE 2008; ICF’s founders serve as a panel of experts responding to the case study of a community striving to develop a new economy while preserving its traditional strengths. With Dianah Neff, Senior Partner, Civitium. Part 2
; john jung; Dianah Neff; Louis Zacharilla; Building Broadband Economy; ICF; sustainability; Robert Bell; Intelligent Community Forum; ScribeMedia.Org; BBE 2008; ICF’s founders serve as a panel of experts responding to the case study of a community striving to develop a new economy while preserving its traditional strengths. With Dianah Neff, Senior Partner, Civitium. Part 3; john jung; Dianah Neff; Louis Zacharilla; Building Broadband Economy; ICF; sustainability; Robert Bell; Intelligent Community Forum; ScribeMedia.Org; BBE 2008; ICF Executive Director Robert Bell leads a case-study conversation with County Executive Andrew Spano of Westchester County, New York.; westchester county; john jung; Dianah Neff; andrew spano; Louis Zacharilla; Building Broadband Economy; ICF; sustainability; Robert Bell; Intelligent Community Forum; ScribeMedia.Org; BBE 2008; ICF Director of Development Louis Zacharilla leads a case-study conversation with Mayor Allen Joines, of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA, one of ICF’s Top Seven Intelligent Communities.; john jung; Dianah Neff; north carolina; Louis Zacharilla; Building Broadband Economy; ICF; winston-salem; sustainability; Robert Bell; Intelligent Community Forum; ScribeMedia.Org; BBE 2008; ICF’s annual award presented to individual or an organization whose work promotes the development of broadband as an engine of economic growth, social inclusion and human progress. This year’s winner:

Scot Rourke, President, OneCommunity ; onecommunity; john jung; Dianah Neff; scot rourke; Louis Zacharilla; Building Broadband Economy; ICF; sustainability; Robert Bell; Intelligent Community Forum; ScribeMedia.Org; BBE 2008; Conference Wrap-Up with ICF Chairman John Jung.; john jung; Dianah Neff; Louis Zacharilla; Building Broadband Economy; ICF; wrap-up; sustainability; Robert Bell; Intelligent Community Forum; ScribeMedia.Org; BBE 2008; The Intelligent Community Forum presents: Building the Broadband Economy 2008- An international meeting place and idea exchange for local government officials and their private-sector partners in telecom, IT, finance, real estate and consulting.

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Building the Broadband Economy 2008 was the the Intelligent Community Forum’s fifth annual summit in New York, which attracts a global audience and features the Intelligent Community Awards. It is a unique chance to learn how to create sustainable growth at the local level.

Click here to learn more about the Intelligent Community Forum.

EU and the US in the Globalized Economy: Politics and Priorities

EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson argues that whether it’s Obama or McCain, either will be the first US President whose foreign economic policy needs to face up to a fundamental shift of global economic and political power from West to East.

 

On Monday, June 9, 2008 The Rt. Hon. Peter Mandelson PC, European Commissioner for Trade, delivered the Winston Churchill Lecture in New York City.

Whoever moves into the Oval Office on 20 January 2009 will be the first US President whose foreign economic policy from day one will so clearly need to face up to a fundamental shift of global economic and political power from West to East. In the annual Churchill lecture, delivered in New York, EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson argued that this means rethinking some central assumptions about how power works in the global economy, and how American and European governments can best defend their people and their interests. “The Atlantic world is no longer the centre of the economic world”, Mandelson says, “because the economic world no longer has a centre”. Mandelson argues that our response to that fact could have immense consequences.

About the speaker:

Peter MandelsonPeter Mandelson studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at St Catherine’s College, Oxford. After working as an economist at the Trades Union Congress and as a current affairs TV producer, Peter Mandelson was later appointed Labour Party Director for Campaigns and Communications in 1985. Later he was Tony Blair’s Campaign Manager in the May 1997 election. In 1992 he was elected as MP for the constituency of Hartlepool. Peter Mandelson was appointed to the British Cabinet as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry 1998 and in 1999 he was appointed Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Peter Mandelson is honorary Chair of Policy Network, a European and international think tank whose journal and conferences promote the exchange and debate of centre-left policy ideas and European social democratic thinking. He was appointed European Commissioner for Trade in 2004.

The infomation above was provided by British American Business, Inc.

Inside the NYPD episode 7: The Bomb Squad

Video: With bomb suits, bomb-sniffing dogs, remote-controlled robots, and nerves of steel, the NYPD Bomb Squad walks towards the suspicious package while all others run the other way.

With bomb suits, bomb-sniffing dogs, remote-controlled robots, and nerves of steel, the NYPD Bomb Squad walks towards the suspicious package while all others run the other way.

Cars From the Sky: Cai Guo-Qiang at the Guggenheim

VIDEO: A quick peak inside “I Want to Believe” – a show of Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang at the Guggenheim museum.

Inopportune: Stage One, Cai Guo Qiang’s installation depicting a car doing a back flip from the Guggenheim’s lobby to the top of the ramp, is so stupefying that I sat beneath it for half an hour before wondering just how it defied gravity, and getting anxious that it might come crashing down. A serious contender for the most audacious work to ever grace the atrium, Cai’s installation is bound to be a big draw for the Guggenheim. Speaking at Thursday’s press preview, the artist was lightly ironic about his installation’s unintentional effects. “Yesterday I saw Guggenheim people had started making a poster of it to sell in the museum store,” Cai said with a soft smile. “I am sure they will make a lot of money on it.”

If not for Cai’s calm and dignified demeanor, it might be easy to dismiss him as a showman. The taxidermy, the suspension cables, the antique boat swimming in broken china, the display of “black fireworks” in the middle of the afternoon documented on video – these are the theatrics that the art-viewing elite is trained to regard with mild distaste. But Cai, the first Chinese artist to get full-rotunda treatment in the Guggenheim, comes from a country where art is supposed be big, bright and beautiful, a country that has put a premium on grand scale and sweeping gestures for the last few generations. The most modest work in the show, a scroll painting of tigers by the artist’s father, an amateur artist, hints at Cai’s interpretation of Frank Lloyd Wright’s spiraling hive as a scroll unfurling upward. His concept of the space displays his aptitude for wedding his vision with institutions of Western modernity and drawing out their “Chinese” aspects – a talent he has consistently used to demonstrate the potential for theatrics and spectacle at the core of installation art.

VIDEO by Alexandra Lerman – the Arts and Culture editor of ScribeMedia.Org. She is also a video artist, VJ and the founder of Ambitious Outsiders Collective.

ARTICLE by Brian Droitcour – a writer, translator and art critic. He recently relocated from Moscow to New York.

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Looting the Iraqi National Museum

Video: I set up in his office and recorded a genuine, dynamic interview about the looting of the Iraqi National Museum. I also learned why he had to leave the country, his home, and his career. While it was a valuable, educational experience for me, I feel like I only scratched the surface of this complex, historical, and still misunderstood event.

This short documentary started off as a graduate school project. I took a journalism class last semester where we were asked to pick a subject dealing with the current conflicts in the Middle East.

I played around with some ideas and while on line just stumbled onto the story of the looting of the Iraqi National Museum. I had remembered it, but it was a vague memory devoid of any real details.

As I started to consider this event as a project, I realized how little I knew.

Like many international events, we were keyed into it at the time, but as the weeks went by others things happened, and we moved on to the next big thing. After some research I found out the former director of the Iraqi National Museum now lives in New York. Dr. Donny George, who teaches at Suny Stony Brook in the Asian studies department, returned my call the next day. In the middle of a snow storm I took the LIRR out to the Island to interview him.

When I got there Dr. George was nowhere to be seen. I found someone who got him on the phone and after talking with him found out he thought we were meeting the next day. He said I could wait, but it would be a few hours.

The Asian studies department invited me to their Christmas party down the hall and later in the day, Dr. George arrived. I set up in his office and recorded a genuine, dynamic interview about the looting of the Iraqi National Museum. I also learned why he had to leave the country, his home, and his career. While it was a valuable, educational experience for me, I feel like I only scratched the surface of this complex, historical, and still misunderstood event. It was well worth the wait on that blistery December evening to document his words and experiences.

Thanks to Dr. George for giving me the opportunity to shed some light on an important chapter of the war in Iraq.

Stuart Draper is a ScribeMedia intern and an all-around-politically-minded fellow.

Anderson Cooper – Planet in Peril

Video: We caught up with Anderson Cooper at the CMJ Film Festival to hear his approach to bringing “Planet in Peril”, the CNN special report on environmental issues, to life.

We caught up with Anderson Cooper at the CMJ Film Festival to hear his approach to bringing “Planet in Peril”, the CNN special report on environmental issues, to life. Fielding questions from audience members, Anderson retells how he gained a newfound interest in environmental issues; how developing the series affected him personally; and shares his experiences visiting some real communities across the globe.