NBCU 2.0 Comes to CNN?
Seven months ago I said it could happen…
I would not at all be surprised to see Zucker implement some version of NBCU 2.0 across CNN Worldwide. In Zucker’s mind NBCU 2.0 was a necessary step in NBC News’ evolution that just about every NBC News executive will publicly state was a success, albeit perhaps a trying success. And with CNN’s uber redundancy, with more bureaus and news staff than any other news network in the US by far, combined with the network’s years going push of all things digital, Zucker has to be extremely tempted to have at that very low hanging fruit begging to be picked. Streamlining and eliminating redundancy cuts costs and increases the bottom line. So long as its ability to deliver quality news is not damaged, increasing the bottom line makes for a nice bullet point in the face of a sluggish ratings trend.
Turner Broadcasting is embarking on a plan to “futureproof” the company by the year 2020 (the company’s 50th anniversary) in a plan executives there are calling “Turner 2020.”
The plan is designed to help turn around struggling networks, like TNT, while bolstering stronger ones, like Adult Swim.
Those changes will almost certainly involve layoffs and restructuring, and Turner Broadcasting C.E.O. John Martin did not dance around that fact in an email to staff Monday evening.
“We’ve been shifting resources already and I would ask that you think carefully about how and where to get the greatest return on the assets you control,” Martin wrote. “This may mean staff changes. In fact, I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t.”
“Turner 2020” bears a striking similarity to “NBC 2.0,” which was undertaken by Bob Wright at NBC Universal in 2006. Jeff Zucker, now the president of CNN, was the president of the NBC Universal TV Group at the time. Now at Turner, Zucker’s CNN is one of the channels facing challenges.