Interviewed for the "View from the Top" feature in the May 9 Financial Times, NBC Universal chief executive Jeff Zucker praised CBS "Evening News" anchor Katie Couric, formerly with NBC's "Today" show. Zucker also dismissed any notion that he regretted not buying the Wall Street Journal.
Here's an excerpt (portion in italics to denote questions by Financial Times):
You worked with Katie Couric [host of NBC's Today for 15 years, now CBS Evening News anchor] for a long time. Would you take her back?
I don't know that Katie's available so it's not really my place to say, but Katie remains one of the most talented journalists of her generation and somebody who would be an asset to whatever news division, whatever organisation she worked in. So we would always welcome somebody of Katie's ability and stature, but that's not . . . on the cards any time in the near future.
The writers' strike had a big impact on ratings. Has that permanently changed the television landscape?
I don't think we'll fully know the answer to that until the fall. There's no question some of the programmes this spring have come back far softer than they were performing prior to the strike.[...]
Do you now regret not having bought the Wall Street Journal?
No. We absolutely made the right decision and we sleep very comfortably at night about that.
Fox News Channel parent News Corporation purchased the Journal in 2007.
Zucker was also asked a series of "Long or short?" questions gauging his view on the viability of everything from the U.S. dollar (long) to print newspapers (short). On Illinois Sen. Barack Obama (D), however, Zucker demurred with a the ever-reliable "No comment."
Photo credit: Getty Images photo by Peter Kramer, via USAToday.com.