Watch here. Yes, I feel so much better about NBC improving its dismal primetime prospects now that I’ve watched Ben Silverman toss around phrases like “disintermediated from my audience via technology” and “trigger digital activation” on Charlie Rose last night. Silly me for thinking that Ben was hired to program the network instead of parrot advertising-speak. And how fucking sad is it that Silverman sings the praises of the Today Show rather than anything he actually has something to do with. Also, I do wish Silverman would stop trying to channel Brandon Tartikoff’s ghost (or allow NATPE is to give him a Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award for reasons that thoroughly escape me). Yes, Silverman worked for Tartikoff once upon a time. But Ben, I knew Brandon. Tartikoff was a friend of mine. And, you sir, are no Brandon Tartikoff. It’s especially nauseating to see Silverman quote Tartikoff about never giving up when the network just cancelled one of Ben’s expensive biggies — My Own Worst Enemy, which was plugged relentlessly during NBC’s Olympics — after only a handful of airings. And Silverman doesn’t even fall on his sword for it. (Obviously preferring to use the New York Post‘s Page Six to blame Katherine Pope for the failure instead of himself or Teri Weinberg. That’s one of the fringe benefits of Ben selling his Reveille to Elisabeth Murdoch and yachting with her this summer.)
Though I liked his image of advertiser distaste for “cats peeing” on YouTube, Silverman didn’t actually say anything new last night about the topic of TV in the digital age (funny, after CEO pornster Michael Wolff just called Silverman “functionally digitally illiterate”). Ben sounded instead like Jeff Zucker Lite, who in turn is the Lite version f other media moguls. (Zucker keeps tying to mimic his idols Peter Chernin and Bob Iger. Creepy when media moguls worship their own ilk…) Then again, Rose obviously didn’t do his homework and hadn’t a clue what to ask Silverman to break a sweat much less draw blood. Neither did Fortune, for that matter. But why does Rose repeatedly descend into an idiot when he sits across from anyone in the entertainment industry? His fanboy mode is so damn irritating not to mention a waste of an important forum. I’ll later have the bigger story about Ben which I’m almost done writing.
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