From the Mouth of ‘Zippy’: Zucker on TV, Agents

Wonder why NBC is in such a mess right now? Two quotes from Jeff Zucker help explain

The New York Times’ Bill Carter (literally) wrote the book on late night. But "The Late Shift" author also wrote the book on Jeff Zucker — or at least  "Desperate Networks," a book with a lengthy chapter on Zucker’s rise to power at NBC.

Skimming that chapter this morning (thanks, Google Books!), TV MoJoe came across two intriguing quotes from Zucker, the man once christened "Zippy" by a rival mogul. They offer insight into just how NBC got into the mess it now finds itself in.

Responding to a query about why he didn’t spend more time getting to know agents during his time in Hollywood running NBC Entertainment, Zucker said, "Why would I waste my time?"

No wonder NBC had few scripted successes ("Scrubs," "Crossing Jordan," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent") under Zucker.

And, in case anyone wonders how NBC’s boss really feels about the industry, seven other words — which Carter says became a mantra of sorts for Zucker after his first bout with cancer — are perhaps most telling.

"Who gives a shit?" Zucker said often. "It’s only television."