So NBC Universal is in such terrible trouble these days that its boss Jeff Zucker has now decided that the company should go to DEFCON 1 (the defense readiness condition representing expectation of an imminent attack). The forward position will be at 30 Rockefeller Plaza where a new and broader media strategy will be pursued. So while NBCU is cutting costs and laying off staff, Zucker is expanding his own flak flacks. Under EVP Cory Shields (who is Jeff’s mouthpiece) and SVP Kathy Kelly-Brown, I understand that NBCU’s corporate communications unit will now include an additional field marshall to monitor New Media, provide rapid response capabilities, and ensure websites, blogs and other media outlets are publishing and capturing appropriate NBCU content. Seriously, that’s the real job description for Kevin Goldman, the former VP of CNBC media relations recently promoted to the NBCU war room. Zucker has managed to co-opt many mainstream newspapers and magazines into not writing about most of NBCU’s fuck-ups. But he obviously feels the need to seek safety in a bunker surrounded by more human shields taking all the incoming sniper fire from New Media. “As print is becoming less and less relevant, and blogs more and more relevant, we have to have relationships with blogs and a response to what they post,” an insider tells me. What Zucker doesn’t understand is that the artillery barrage will continue no matter the size of the PR defense perimeter as long as he keeps leading NBCU into oblivion.
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