TCA 2014: Bob Greenblatt says “volume is the killer”
With Fox expected to name a new head of entertainment within days, NBC entertainment chief Bob Greenblatt offered some advice to his new rival.
Since taking over NBC in 2011, Greenblatt has helped lead the network from fourth place to first. Fox's new head will want to replace NBC at the top. So Vulture's Joseph Adalian asked Greenblatt at the Television Critics Association summer press tour Sunday how he or she can go about rising to the top.
Greenblatt's answer offered insights not just to executives, but to anyone interested in the business of television. Here are three pieces of advice he offered:
1. “You have to love the medium. If you don't want to be in the broadcast landscape, you shouldn't be here.”
Greenblatt, a Showtime veteran, stressed that anyone hoping to run a broadcast network should be comfortable with the pluses and minuses of trying to appeal to the broadest possible audience.
2. “Every show is a challenge to put together.”
Greenblatt urged Fox's new chief to assemble the best team possible, because every aspect of assembling a show — down to securing deals for its stars — is a daunting process.
3. “You want to make a lot of shows… and be okay with the volume, because the volume is the killer.”
“If you're doing two shows a year you can handcraft them,” he said, adding that executives in that position can make sure nothing less than perfect goes out the door. “When you're doing 15 or 20 shows a year, the volume just gets away from you.”
Greenblatt also stressed the importance of greater upper management, because without it, a network president's hands are tied.
“I have the greatest people I work for, who give us so much support and latitude,” he said.