Don’t tinker with the Today Show lineup — fix the talent non-chemistry, the franchise’s former exec producer Jeff Zucker advised NBC today. “The key to all of those programs, and we had a tremendous amount of success for many years, is obviously the chemistry between the people who are on the show…That’s what makes or breaks these shows,” Zucker, who EP’d the show during its glory days, said while speaking at the Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech 2013 confab about his latest undertaking – CNN. “The Today Show, obviously has had a difficult year and a half – brought a lot of it [on] itself, and those are the worst kind of mistakes,” Zucker said.
“You have to have folks who people want to watch, day in and day out. I’d probably start by taking a look at that… It’s not about tinkering with the rundown, or which story you do first, or second. Those shows are about: are there people you want to watch?” Asked how to come up with the right on-air talent lineup, Zucker explained, “a lot of this is your own judgment, your gut.” The Matt Lauer/Katie Couric pairing was “something very special,” Zucker said; after Katie left, the pairing of Matt and Meredith Vieira was also “very fortunate,” he added.