NBC Dumps Vivendi's Top Twosome

29 April 2004

There's no doubting who rules the roost in the imminent merger between General Electric's NBC Television network and Vivendi Universal Entertainment.

Truth told, uncertainty over the issue has been zero from the moment it was announced the shareholding in their new joint company, Universal Television Group, is 80/20 in favor of General Electric.

But as if to underscore the supremacy of GE and NBC, the top duo at VUE -- chairman Michael Jackson and president/coo David Goldhill -- will walk the platinum plank coincident with the drying of the ink on the final documents. Neither has another job in prospect -- although their payoffs are expected to require the services of Wells Fargo.

Jeff Zucker, president of NBC Entertainment, has already been assigned the same role in the new company's entertainment, news and cable operations.

From within the VUE bunker, one of the potential victims of corporate cupidity reports: "There is a lot of nervousness at the integration and how cost-savings will be achieved."

But despite declining to make a statement on the issue, NBC has shrugged-off talk of significant job losses among VUE's 1,200 TV staff.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff