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The Comcast dog that didn't bark

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hvn_nbr_2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 03:59 PM
Original message
The Comcast dog that didn't bark
Imagine that you're in the position of Comcast. You've made a deal to buy a media outfit, all the terms are settled, regulatory approval has been granted, and all that's left to do is finalize the deal. Then suddenly, without your knowledge or approval, this media outfit's leading star and highest ratings success gets fired just before you consummate the deal.

It's like if the New England Patriots football team were being sold and after all the negotiations are complete, the deal is agreed, the league's approval has been granted, and all that remains is formal finalization of the deal. Then suddenly the Patriots' old management fires Tom Brady (Patriots' quarterback and biggest star, for the non-sports fans).

If you were the buyer, what would you do? If you didn't want or approve or demand the firing, then there would be legal holy hell to pay. Throwing away your biggest star just as the new owners are about to take over would certainly lessen the value of the property, unless you wanted that star gone for some reason. The old management would have to be insane to make such a move without the new owner's agreement because they and the deal itself would be in great legal jeopardy. The new owner would make all sorts of legal noise and threats and demand an improved price for the deal.

It's frankly inconceivable that Comcast didn't have a hand in Keith's firing.
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lob1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 04:01 PM
Response to Original message
1. Your points are dead on. Comcast did it.
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 04:21 PM
Response to Original message
2. I'm going to agree. nt
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Gidney N Cloyd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 04:24 PM
Response to Original message
3. Keith might be the Tom Brady of MSNBC but MSNBC is just a small part of the deal.
This more like buying a house and finding out that that nice barbecue on the patio isn't included.
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DCKit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. Except we're talking about a mega-corp and their $$$$$$$.
They'd sue you for the entire cost of the house BECAUSE the BBQ wasn't included.
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PDittie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-23-11 07:25 AM
Response to Reply #3
11. This is the most correct.
KO isn't Tom Brady. Brian Williams is more like Brady (sorry about that. Really). "TODAY" is also an NBC cash cow so you have to put Matt Lauer up there close to the top, so he's kinda like Danny Woodhead.

In this tortured Patriots analogy I would have to say that Keith is most like Alge Crumpler. Integral and valuable but ultimately replaceable (which KO did himself with Rachel and Ed and Lawrence, if you think about it -- and compare it to the multiple TEs NE employs like Gronkowski and Hernandez). Replaceable especially if the coach considers him a malcontent and disruptive to team chemistry.

Which reinforces the OP's point.
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Faygo Kid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 04:24 PM
Response to Original message
4. Yes, it is inconceivable that Comcast wasn't the guiding hand here.
There is no way at all that NBC execs would do this independently and thereby embarrass their new masters. That is NOT how corporate America works.
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Urban Prairie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 04:30 PM
Response to Original message
5. Spot on.
Edited on Sat Jan-22-11 04:35 PM by Urban Prairie
similar to say, an nationwide ad agency dumping their biggest customer, especially after being sold lock, stock, and barrel to a competitor. The buyer would likely fire everyone involved after discovering the huge loss in potential future revenue. It isn't just Keith alone but the thousands of viewers who may cease watching the network, if not end their subcription to Comcast as their cable TV provider as well.
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 04:37 PM
Response to Original message
6. They had a hand at least insofar as Jeff Zucker left MSNBC to make room for them.
He was, apparently, Keith's 'angel' there. Keith is too strong-willed for run-of-the mill media types, and he and Zucker were able to work together (or somesuch.)
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coolhip33 Donating Member (101 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 04:41 PM
Response to Original message
7. Have you looked at the assets of NBC Universal lately?
Edited on Sat Jan-22-11 04:42 PM by coolhip33
MSNBC is a VERY small piece of the pie.....

I'm thinking this was more personal between Phil Gramm and KO.....

I'm sure KO knew Zucker was leaving..... he prolly didnt want to stick around after Zucker left...

Once they agreed to terminate relationship I'm sure NBC said "Leave Now"......
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Phil Gramm? That Phil Gramm?
He's mixed up in this? :scared: How, exactly?
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PDittie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-23-11 07:26 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. He meant Phil Griffin
head of MSNBC
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 04:56 PM
Response to Original message
9. Sounds like the title of a Thurber piece
"The Comcast dog that didn't bark".

Yep. Thurber.

--d!
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