Jeff Zucker, the North Miami High boy wonder who led NBC to some of its most dramatic ratings peaks and plunged it into some of its most profound abysses, has been fired as part of a corporate takeover.
In a Friday memo to company employees, Zucker said he'll leave when corporate parent NBC Universal is acquired by cable giant Comcast, a move expected to win approval from federal regulatory authorities late this year or early next.
Zucker, NBC Universal's chief executive officer, had hoped to stay on when the new owners arrived. But Comcast executives told him two weeks ago that he wasn't in their plans, he said. "It became increasingly clear that they did want to put their own team in place,'' Zucker told The New York Times. "And I didn't want to end up being a guest in my own house.''
His departure after 24 years caps a remarkable run for the one-time North Dade tennis star, who took a job as an NBC Sports researcher when his high-school ambition of being a Miami Herald sports writer covering the Dolphins didn't work out. Read my full story about the ups and downs of Zucker's NBC career in Satursday's Miami Herald.