Former NBC employee Tucker Carlson made a biting critique of CEO Jeff Zucker’s managment of the network, calling him “inept” in an interview with America’s Morning News on Friday morning.
NBC comedians Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien have been waging a very public war against their network after Mr. Zucker announced he would take Mr. Leno’s show out of its prime-time slot and put it back into late night, knocking Mr. O’Brien’s “Tonight Show” later in the daily lineup.
Mr. Carlson, a well-known conservative commentator who worked for NBC while hosting the political chat show “Tucker” that aired on MSNBC, said Mr. Zucker couldn’t be trusted to make these changes. He told America’s Morning News, “I used to work for Jeff Zucker, and I can tell you there is no one more inept running a major television network today.”
Over the last few days Mr. O’Brien has threatened to quit and NBC executives have tried to bully him into staying. Meanwhile, the two comics have been making pointed jokes about each other during their separate programs, stoking the fued.
Mr. Carlson, founder of the recently-launched news and opinion Web site www.DailyCaller.com, said, “This is classic malfeasance.”
Mr. Carlson went on, “I think the fact that Jeff Zucker is the remaining president of NBC now that its been bought by Comcast tells you everything about the Peter Principle. It’s true. Inept people rise to the top sometimes and it’s one of the reasons our industries aren’t as competitive as they could be because there are Jeff Zuckers running around in CEO suites.”
“Terrifying,” he added.