Money matters most

by Paul William Tenny

The title says it all: money matters most to the multi-national congloms that own our domestic television and film production. If, as this one anonymous writer claims, NBC\NBC-U didn't make any money for GE, it would have been sold off already. The same goes for every major studio.

Here, I'll let this person explain it far better than I could:
Among other things, he claims that NBC/Uni's addition to the GE balance sheet is a "rounding error."

As someone who worked on Wall Street before becoming a writer, I can assure you that statement is nonsense. The Jay Leno show alone is a guaranteed $50 million in profits. GE owns NBC/Uni for one reason and one reason only: to make a ton of money. NEVER to lose money. That's why Zucker fired Kevin Reilly in May. Somebody had to take the fall for the network's performance, and Zucker, the quintessential Peter Principle exec, made sure it wasn't himself. But now there's nobody else to blame, and the $50 million from Leno is getting flushed down the toilet. The Worldwide Pants deal just turned up the burner under Zucker.

Just as important, ALL of GE's divisions are expected to make their own profits and take care of themselves. A good year in one division does not in any way "offset" a bad year in another division. Divisions do not pick up the slack for one another, or prop each other up. In fact, it is just the opposite -- they are rivals with one another. That was Jack Welch's way of doing business, and it is Immelt's as well. All this talk of deep pockets at GE helping NBC is flat wrong. Anyone who says that would flunk out of the first semester at business school.

Really, that is what the entire strike boils down to when you remove the rhetoric and pure stupidity on the part of the CEOs actually running these feeder companies. For whatever they believe, the fact is their companies have now lost more money then it would have cost them to make a fair deal, and it's only going to get worse for them, and at a far faster rate that it would for writers.

I mentioned this a day or two ago, where CBS, News Corp, GE, Viacom, and all those companies that sit at the top of the ownership ladder are all losing stock value in addition to revenue. Believe the person who wrote the stuff above when they say that this stuff really matters.

These are some of the most cutthroat business on the planet and there are definitely people inside them, someplace, screaming murder about these unnecessary losses.

I don't care what anybody says at this point, these billion dollar businesses are losing more money than 13,000 writers are (that's almost a third of the number of people working for NBC-Universal alone) and this has become nothing but a game of chicken, and the writers are holding the winning hand.
in Film, Labor, Television


Related posts:

Leave a comment

View more stories by visiting the archives.

Media Pundit categories