tv Charlie Rose PBS December 3, 2010 12:00pm-1:00pm PST
rz welcome to our program, tonight jeff zucker who will soon be leaving his post at c.e.o. of nbc universal reflects on a lifetime in television. >> the one piece of the puzzle that i regret that we haven't been able to improve and we did not do a good enough job on is the performance of nbc entertainment. and over the last four or five years it hasn't been strong enough. and as i look back on all of this, the one thing i regret was that we couldn't get that turned around. you know, in the scope of the entire company and the company we are weigh about to handoff, i'm incredibly proud rz we continue with three great chefs, daniel boulud, who reflect on the changing nature of cooking restaurants and diners. >> my parents were not too supportive of my work in restaurants. which i began doing at a
young age. and it was julia child's books which really inspired me. and reading them and trying all the recipes in the book. and sort of falling victim to an obsession. >> of course being surrounded by the greatest chefs, chappell and blank, leon and seeing them every week at the market or twice a week or three times a week, i think for me i wanted to be one of them one day and i think the inspiration kept growing. >> without every young man, young lady in the team that is willing to sacrifice everything to produce the best food possible, it's just like trying to win the tour de france, without lance armstrong, without his team, cannot survive rz a look inside television, and cooking. when we continue. >> funding for charlie rose was provided by the following: or maybe you want to help when the unexpected happens.
whatever you want to do, members project from american express can help you take the first step. vote, volunteer, or donate for the causes you believe in at membersproject.com. take charge of making a difference. >> additional funding provided by these funders. >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news worldwide captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. rz just zucker is here, president & ceo of nbc universal, he plans to leave the company following federal approval of the acquisition by comcast. his depar ture is a bitter sweet ending to an i lus
strus 25 year career at nbc can. he revolutionized morning television in the 1990s as executive producer of the "today show". in 2000 he was promoted to president of nbc entertainment and his career has had ups and downs. he was promoted to c.e.o. in 2007 but has been criticized for nbc's struggles in prime time. earlier he was blamed for the power struggle between conan o'brien and jay leno and also had his share of success as c.e.o. expanded nbc's cable portfolio, helping the company to increase its overall profits. he also led nbc into the digital age with internet ventures such as hulo. he will replaced by steve burke of comcast. i am pleased to have jeff zucker back at this table. welcome. >> thank you, charlie it always nice to be with you rz what is this like, 25 years at nbc, worked no other place. >> right wz and it's winding down. >> yeah. it is definitely bittersweet there is no question about it. i spent my entire adult life, more than half of my life walking into one building at
30 rockefeller plaza. it's going to be weird not to walk in and not to be around nbc. the only thing i've ever known it would be disingenuous to suggest otherwise. you know, on the other hand, on the other hand, i'm excited because i have never had the chance to think about what else i wanted to do rz are you surprised by what people suggest might be interesting? >> yeah, no, it's actually already been kind of interesting to hear how people see me age think about me and you know, in some respects very flattering. so i am excited about the future even though i never expected to be thinking about it rz was there a moment you thought i may stay here. because there was speculation in the press. >> yeah, i mean look, i think early on i thought that that might be a possibility. but as time went won shortly after the deal was announced, look, i think it became clear that they, they wanted to do it their own way. and so i knew that this was probably the way it would have-- look, the fact is when companies take over another company, this is
what usually happens. and so i understood that. and-- and totally understand the move rz will you take time? i mean you've got to have a lot of advice. >> yeah rz and people say take six months off, look at everything. >> yeah rz don't rush into another thing. >> other people say quickly get back in the saddle. >> well, i've gotten both of those pieces of advice. you know, the fact is i've worked every day of my life for 25 years, even when i was on vacation i was working. so i actually am excited to take a little time off. and to relax and to recharge. and to think about, really, what i want to do. i have a lot of interests. and i have a lot of things that would with excite me. so i am going to take some time off. how much that is, how much my dna will allow me to take off, time will tell. but i am going to take some time off, you know, and work on my tennis game rz where do they want to take nbc universal that you might have taken in a different
direction? >> well, i don't want-- i can't speak for them and they'll figure that out. i think they're-- comcast is uniquely situated, though, in having such a large footprint of cable as a cable company and a-- i think that they are uniquely situated to think about the future of entertainment with qon tent, married with twoj. and i think that that's really the advantage to this combination. we live in a digital age where with the proliferation of content is what it's all about. and the ability for comcast to think about content, married with technology and distribution, i think the promise of that, what they can do with it is the beauty of the deal rz they have the resources to try to make it work. >> yeah, totally. nobody's completely figured it out. nobody knows exactly where we are in the digital
revolution. but comcast is probably uniquely situated to play a huge role in that and i think that's-- i think that's what they will spend a lot of time thinking about. >> i want to talk more about the future of media. you toll jim cramer, i think, i think the big issue is the future of on-line video and what are going to be the conditions of the deal around that. >> well, as you know, we where still awaiting regulatory approval. and obviously the fcc and department of justice are looking at the deal. i think one of the things that everybody is wondering about is what is the future of on-line video. and i think that that is one of the big issues that the government is concerned about. rightly so. because look, this is a nash ent business, on-line video. and nobody knows where it's going to go. and so making sure that consumers and competitors are all protected as a
result of the deal is an important consideration. rz the only question though is it is going to be huge and the only question is what is it going to leave in its wake. >> well, listen, there is no question that this is the future of media, and it's hear. >> it's here, we're still very early in the game but yeah, it's here. but what is it going to look like in two years what is it going to look like in five years, ten years, nobody knows. and i think that's what everybody is grappling with with. and i think comcast will play a big role. >> what is hulu going to look like because i think there was an announcement this week that they may be going international. >> going international is always one of the goals of hulu. what the timing is around that is still to be determined. but the fact is you have to remember they didn't exist three years ago. and the fact that it is now such an important part of the on-line video landscape is a real tribute to jason kyle letter, the c.e.o. of hulu and the entire team there. it is one of the things that i'm proud of that we were
there at the start. i think they will continue to play a major role in aggregating quality, premium video here and abroad, eventually. and it will continue to be a major player for many years to come. we have two forms of hulu an ad supported hulu and a subscription service called hulu plus. >> which you pay for. >> which you pay for. and both pieces are working incredibly well. both are exciting their expectations. and i think 2011 promises to be an even better year. >> is that the future, some kind of combination between pay and free? >> i think so. i mean i think that both of those are going to be key to any content company's success. figuring out how to monetize how people are watching all kinds of content, entaintment programsing films, news programs, programs like this. you know, how do you monetize, more i'm are watching this program than have ever seen it. >> exactly. >> more people are watching our prime time program than have ever watch them before but they are not necessarily
watching it when this program airs the first time. nobody is necessarily, not everybody is necessarily watching our programs when they air in their original form. but more people are seeing them. how do you monetize all of that viewing over time? i think that's really one of the keys to success in the next few years within i mentioned success. clearly the "today show" is where it all began for you. >> yeah. well, look, i mean it's funny, the first half of my career was spent as a producer. a lot of that at the today show. a lot of people don't remember that to you because the second half of my career i have been an executive. those years at the today show were among the most fun that i have ever had, and probably will ever have because it was just a great time. we were building that great franchise. >> what's the key. why is the "today show" what it is today, because we saw one more announcement that cbs, one more time, is changing the anchors and the formats for their show. >> didn't dow it. >> no, i did it for six months. >> see, that's what i'm
saying. >> that was because they were in between shows and i was doing nightwatch and they came in and said -- >> okay, okay. >> and don hewitt wanted me to continue do to do that but i want back to night watch but i would have liked to have that challenge. i would have loved that challenge at that time. >> do they know you're available. >> no, i'm not available. what could beat this, you tell me what could beat this. >> was that's true. this is the% table in television, no question about it. >> exactly. so tell me why it is that it's such a unique, what you did, choosing talent, and incorporating a kind of first look at the news. >> well looking, i think there are a couple of things and i think it does start with talent. listen some of the best people ever to walk through the door of morning television walked through our door in the early '90s in matt lauer and katie couric. and before that tom brokaw, by the way, the list is tremendous, tom brokaw and jane pauley, john chancellor, the list goes on and on.
and i think look, that obviously, you start from the fact that the today show was first. they were there in 1952. >> created the franchise. >> created the franchise, pat weaver did that. and the franchise was created, the people were there. and look, we had great people. and i think we made a number of changes to the today show. we created that first half hour of the today show that we believed at that time was the most important half hour in television news. >> brian williams has increased his lead. >> we are incredibly proud of the job that brian and nbc nightly news has done. obviously they are the dominant evening news program. and i think that's a tribute to the job that the nbc team has done. >> and what's happened since dianne went to abc. >> there's no question that nbc nightly news is more dominant today than it's been to many, many years. and. >> so is abc different since die anne. >> these are all good programs so let's take nothing away from any of them. having said that nbc nightly news has increased its margin. it's one of the things that
i'm proud of. you talked about successes. look, i'm incredibly proud as i do step away, the fact that nbc universal is a news and information power white house. you know, with the "today show" and nightly news and meet the press with david gregory who had to step into tim russert's shoes. and you add to that cnbc and msnbc and the fact is the news and information strength of nbc universal is one the things i'm incredibly proud of. >> you said i would have liked to be remembered, creative and innovative, not afraid to take a chance, believing in diversity, creating a culture of cooperation and collaboration unique in ead meadiation, revolution morning television, never letting them-- never letting people forget that this was a people business. >> right. >> and that's what you end with, good people. so all of that -- >> that's a lot of things there. >> so what are you not-- what are you not proud of. what is part of the legacy. >> right. >> that you wish had not gone the way it did.
>> yeah, you know, the one piece of the puzzle that i regret that we haven't been able to improve and we did not do a good enough job on is the performance of nbc entertainment. and over the last four or five years it hasn't been strong enough. as i look back on all of this the one thing i regret was that we couldn't get that turned around. you know, in the scope of the entire company and the company we're about to hand off, i'm incredibly proud. i'm disappointed that we didn't do a better job with that. >> disappointed is one thing. you have acknowledged you chose the wrong people to run nbc entertainment. >> well. >> have you not? >> yes, i have said that. there is no question, yeah, no, no, i have said that. >> so what's wrong. what didn't you know about running nbc entertainment so that you chose the wrong people, not once but at least twice. >> look, you know. >> i mean this is the thing. not only that you have said on this program i realize that nbc entertainment was five percent but 95% of the
perception of the network, so the one thing that meant to the most to the perception of the network you failed at. >> i should think it's actually 105%. >> there you go. >> career coaches will say you got to be rigorous about what your strengths were and your weaknesses. so i'm looking to this, in a sense for you to analyze what went wrong at nbc entertainment with the flagship of what the network says to the world. >> well, from a perception standpoint, no question. you know, look, that's a very tough business. it's a really tough business that requires a good degree of luck as well. we didn't have the good fortune. we didn't have probably the right people in place. you know, i had the good fortune of probably placing 80% of the leadership of the companies that's currently in place in their positions. we got most of that right. i wasn't able to get this one right and i accept responsibility for that. >> let's analyze that.
is that because you didn't really understand entertainment, because you never really understood hollywood. one of the things that crit kicks have said since you have left, i know you know this, is that he didn't, he said he was disassociated from the creative community. he didn't in a sense feel like, understand, know what we were about. >> yeah. >> he was a guy that came from somewhere wells and didn't get us. >> well w there's always-- look, there's always a little bit of the east coast, west coast, new york, hollywood thing. and so you know, when you come as a new yorker from outside that community, it's probably a little harder. i feel proud about what i did when i was in hollywood w in los angeles for the first four years of this decade where we had a lot of success. my disa pointment ask that i wasn't able to name successors out there. and this is my responsibility. that were able to keep the momentum going.
and i accept that responsibility. >> but do you know why you chose badly? >> well, look, i took some chances with some folks and it didn't work out. i think goes back to a little bit of the legacy that we were talking about, never being satisfied with the status quo, willing to take a chance. i took a chance on some leadership that didn't work out. >> but now we're getting at who you are. you are and you have said this a guy who likes to roll the dice. a guy who likes to say let's try something. >> wand i think that that probably is how i would like to be remembered or would be remembered. i think that we did take a lot of chances through the years. whether it was with with the today show or whether it was with hulu or whether it was with entertainment. we made thousands of decisions through the years. most of them worked. they didn't all work. this is one that didn't. >> and but why? i'm asking. >> well, listen, if we knew the answer to that we would have fixed it and got ten right. >> but you have had the perspect tough think about it when you weren't making those. what is it about prime time, help us understand why prime
time is such a tough thing to do unless are you les moonves. >> well, listen, you know, look, les has had tremendous success in prime time and i think he deserves all the credit for that. you know, we've had success in other places where it has been harder for cbs. we talked about news, right. >> but he came out of hollywood. you came out of news. nbc is number one in news, number one in the morning. he came out of hollywood. they are number one in prime time, number three in news and number three in the morning. >> which don't think it is quite that simple. i don't think quite that simple although i have all the respect in the world for les and i think he has done a fantastic job and does deserve that credit. i think it is a little simplistic to suggest it is as a result of where people came from as to whether or not they are being to have success. >> is it unfair to say that somehow you never loved the product, that somehow you never got the creative community. >> yeah, i think that's completely unfair. >> all right. let me talk about the big decision which-- has written a book about and you you and
i talked about before. >> i don't regret the decision i made, and i said this before. i don't regret the decision i made. i regret that it didn't work out. the fact is as we've talked about at this table, jay's show at 10:00 didn't work. conan's show at 11:30 didn't work. and it was the failure of both shows. >> here is what is interesting about bill carter's book, though, is that you had, speaking of gut, you had a feeling that it was not going to work at 11:30 for conan a court-- according to bill carter and you reflected that. and when you saw it on the air, it confirmed your feeling. and when you saw the bookings, it doubled your anxiety. >> look, look. >> look, what, is this what -- >> you know, i think, i think that-- i think conan is incredibly talented. i really do. i think that in the end everybody has probably ended
up where they should be. it turns out jay is a broader, deliverings a broader audience and i think conan delivers a very targeted audience that wasn't what we feeded at 11:30 on nbc. >> looking at it now, you don't think that conan really was the right profile, forgetting jay, for 11:30 on nbc. >> i think it turns out he was nor narrow than we needed. >> narrow in what means. >> in terms of his appeal to a broader audience. >> in what he sdb, the nature of his comedy. >> wall of the above. all of that. and look, he's incredibly talented. and i think he's actually reaching a perfect audience where he is. but at nbc at 11:30 you need to be, you need to reach more than just men 18 to 34. and you need to reach as many people as possible. and i think you know n behind sight that is
something that we realized after the fact. >> it was an op rattive idea at one point in which jay at 11:30 was thinking about leaving. >> uh-huh. >> and the idea of-- attributed to nbc universal was that maybe jay goes to abc, david is at cbs, they take and split the older audience. conan comes in and has the most desirable younger audience and that's a win-win for nbc. was that your thinking? >> we were-- we weren't that smart. you know. >> you had the thought. >> well look, i mean we twhout which thought that this was the right move. obviously we wouldn't have made it if we didn't think it was the right move at the right time. it turns out that we needed a broader audience and we just didn't get that with conan's show at 11:30. >> did you think for a moment of not honoring the commitment as you got closer to the day and just saying we'll pay you for whatever
we owe you. >> i don't think so. >> never thought that. you were willing to roll the dice in the end to a decision you had made five years earlier. >> yeah, we wanted to keep that commitment and we also wanted to keep jay in the family. and we thought the opportunity, look, i don't think that we would have done what we did at 10:00 if you know, jay, we wanted to honor the commitment and jay was available. and so as a result we wanted to keep him in the family. and we did also see this as a way to think about the cost of prime time programming. and that is something that i think everybody is going to have to think about. >> fair enough so, what did that experience teach you other than you roll the dice, you make a mistake, you acknowledge the mistake and try to fix it. that is what it taught you or you already knew that. two, did it teach you something about what people want to watch at 10 and don't want to watch at 10. >> i think that is a fair point. i mean i don't know. the show wasn't good fluff to come to an absolute conclusion on that. although there is no question that people expected probably dramas or something like that more scripted programming at
10:00. rather than a variety show every night. so it's hard to change people's habits and i think we learned that. and then as you so rightly put it, look, we learned that it's okay to take a chance and when it doesn't work you step up and say it didn't work. >> take the responsibility. >> we did. you can't get everything right. >> bill carter suggests somewhere that there was a tense negotiations and that you basically pointed out to conan that, you know, we could simply put you on the bench for two years and pay you, two years. did you do that? >> well, i think our folks made conan's representatives -- >> our folks. >> our folks made conan's represents-- representative as ware of, you know what our rights were. look, the biggest thing that i regret. >> or threats. >> the biggest thing i regret in the entire experience is how public it became. and listen, conan-- con kann
is a good person. and i actually had a long professional and personal relationship with him. >> you knew him at harvard. >> i did. i have known conan for 30 years. and i-- i, very sincerely he great that this played out the way it did. the public nature of it. and i think that was one of the unfortunate things to come out of it. and obviously in hindsight i wish that hadn't happened. >> what did it do with your friendship with jeff ross. >> jeff who is the executive producer of conan's show, and i have been friends for a long time. and we remain friends to this day. and -- >> communicate. >> yeah, we talk. we have weigh spoken. we've seen each other. we've communicated by e-mail. you know, and i feel-- i feel good about that relationship. >> and conan? >> qonan, conan and i have exchanged e-mails. i think we have weigh spoken one or two times by e-mail.
obviously that relationship is not what it was. and that's something that i regret. >> how do you draw the line between delegation, hiring the right person to say go do it, and wanting to be there every morning and checking everything. >> right. >> what did you learn? that's an important question. >> yeah, no it's really the essence of management, i think. and learning how to delegate is a real skill. and you know, as you get more and more responsibility letting go, more and more, letting the people you put in place do their jobs. that was a lesson that i think i learned over time. but it's a hard skill to learn. i think the most important thing you can do is liar good people who you trust and let them do their jobs. >> did you have that. because there are those who looked at you now and write about this, who admire you and say he was the smartest guy in the room and that was the problem. >> i never think it's a problem to be a smart guy in a room, by the way, i don't think that say negative thing. >> i'm quoting what they said.
the curse of being too smart and believing you know everything. >> well, lils en, i definitely don't know everything. and i should never, nobody should ever think that i know everything. and i think i've proven over time that i don't know everything. >> but you were a micromanager. >> you know, listen, i think that, i think i managed where it was important to be. i think that that, you know i went where there were issues and hopefully my expertise could help solve those issues. i think i gave a tremendous amount of running room to those, to the folks who worked for me. >> all right. the digital revolution. >> so we're off of that topic now? so the hour, that hour is over? >> in a few minutes, for god's sakes. i'm not sure i got inside the way i wanted to. but it is, i mean what, it was famously, john f. kennedy who said after the presidency he might go into journalism. because he was nass natured by what make-- fascinated by what makes people tick and so am i. tell us, do you know
something? because you had to make decisions with dollars. and you famously said digital dollars, i mean analog colors -- dollars an digital pennies, is it up to a quarter. >> i think we are probably approaching a quarter. >> explain what you mean. >> what i said at the time was that one of the things that worried me about the digital revolution was that we were putting all of these programs on line or on digital platforms and we were trading the analog dollars that we received for them through advertising for digital pennies. and that was not a trade that was going to opinion in anybody's long-term interest. >> and your costs did not change. >> your cost structure remained the same but your revenue had been cut by, you know, by 99% when i made the comment. i think that over time we have done a better job as an industry of monetizing the digital content but not a good enough job. and i think we probably are up to digital quarters. and what we're going to have to do over the next three to five years is figure out how
to get that up to 50 cents pieces. >> over the next three to five years. >> it will get there or in the next three to five years we have to figure it out. >> well, both. i think it will get there and people are going to have to figure it out. because otherwise we wouldn't be able to afford the great content that so many people are enjoying. >> you won't have to do what people across account board are doing which is making cuts in personnel. >> well, so look, that is not the ultimate solution. and the ultimate solution is to figure out how to best monetize all the people. >> so give me your best idea? >> well, i think look, i think the things that we are weigh experimenting with with. i think it's subscription models. it's video on demand. it's a combination of advertising and subscription. it's it's figuring out things like hulu and how to better monetize it. these result all the things i think we have to think about even more so in the next few years. >> how much admiration do you have for rupert-- rupert murdoch who said i'm in the
content business and i will not stand for it. >> first of all, the first answer is i have inordinatement as of respect for rupert. >> because he had a vision. >> yeah, he's, you know, everybody throws around the term visionaries and moguls. he is the true visionary mogul. >> and international and global. >> yeah, rupert is in a chas by himself. and i think that you know, he's been in a few businesses that have especially the newspaper business that have suffered. and i think that that's taught him a lot and i think he is trying to take the lessons he learned in that and apply it to the other content that he has. and you know, we're all experimenting here. nobody knows, if anybody knew the solution we would be doing it. so he is experimenting. we're all experimenting. what is the right sub description model for newspapers, for content. that's the key. >> but the conclusion is apparently that free alone is to the going to get there you there. >> free alone will get you less than the digital pennies.
>> right. >> and so i think it has to be a combination of ad supported. >> free alone is ad supported. >> well, you know that is not entirely free because, but ad supported and subscription and i think that that really has to be the future for on-line video. >> so is this where your passion is today for this whole where the revolution might be and what opportunities there might-there. >> well, look, it obviously is of great interest to me. we are at a tremendous crossroads in media. i hate talking about old medianess and new media because it is all media. so the fact is, this is the most exciting time ever in yesterdayia. and i love that. >> fwhet flix, it is extraordinary. what they are doing. reid was just vote bid "fortune" magazine the executive of the year. >> he deserves it. >> and what they are doing in prime time in terms of people coming to their site is rather remarkable. >> this has been a great idea that they have had tremendous vision on and it
is obviously a tremendous force to be reckoned with. >> that is one more reason cable subscriptions are down. >> i think we can debate how much cable subscriptions are down but on the other hand there is no question that 2 is another force in the new media landscape. do you think, what do you think of fox news? >> which have tremendous respect for fox news. i really do. >> and for what roger ailes. >> because it is an idea that works. >> what roger ailes created at fox news, whether you agree or disagree with the point of view, put that to the side, it is, you cannot you cannot walk away with that without thinking that was a tremendous vision that he executed upon. >> what was the vision? >> the vision was that there was a large part of the audience that didn't feel that they were being heard or spoken to. and i think he filled a void and a gap and he has become an incredibly legitimate news gathering organization,
their prime time, obviously has a point of view but the news gathering organization that is fox news deserves a lot of credit. and i think i've always encouraged our folks to watch fox news and to learn from it. and nobody should hold their nose at what they created. >> is that the reason msnbc decided it is in our interest and in our future to make sure that we get people like kyte olbermann who can play in his arena with the same kind of passion they play in their arena. >> i think what you learn. >> that was a nice way to say it, wasn't. >> very nice, thank you. i think what you learn in the cable news and information world is that news and information is ubiquity with us. and with the advent of the internet and the fact that everybody today is a journalist because they have a flip camera and a blog, it doesn't leave a lot of room for a 24 hour news channel per se. and i think that what we had to do with msnbc was figure
out its voice. and its roll. and i think the success of keith olbermann gave us a path that we hadn't necessarily predicted would be the voice of that network. but it put us on a path and then we built upon that and i think today msnbc is incredibly successful. and again part of that powerhouse news and information portfolio that i talked about. but you know, fox news, msnbc they all play, they play a roll in news and information and opinion. and there is a role for all of them. >> so the power that they may have doesn't bother you at all? >> look, i think ultimately the viewer decides here. and the viewer is smart enough to make their own decisions and i think that there is more access to news and information today than there has ever been. and the fact is if you go back 25 years you know when
you basically had three evening news programs that were being programmed by you knowivey educated graduates, that were all delivering the same kind of program, i think the fact is today there is much more varied choice than there has ever been. and i think that's in the best interest of the consumer. just because it's loud and noisy doesn't mean you have to watch it. >> you still have a choice. >> and more than ever. we live in a blogo sphere world where everybody gets their point of view heard. doesn't mean it is right or wrong but everybody can be heard today. >> when you look at john stuart-- jon stewart and his success, his demographics, and the fact that he's sort of at a place where it's comedy but taken seriously for good reason, he puts together stuff in a way that has a point. uses comedy to make a point. >> write. >> if he came to you and said my contract is up, you know this business like few do, what should i do?
where should i be? >> well, i tried to hire jon stewart, you know b eight or nine years ago to do a half hour show at 8:00 every night of the week on nbc. i wanted him to take the show he was doing, the daily show and basically bring that over to nbc at 8:00 every night. i thought that, you know, it would be, it was probably the precursor to what we tried at 10:00. >> but very different, much more hip. >> no, obviously jon appealed to a different demographic. we had conversations, at the end he decided to stay where he is. look, i think jon stewart is -- >> go ahead. >> which think he's one of the most important voices in information in this country. just because he delivers it with a comedic point of view doesn't diminish its importance in any way rz. >> do you believe now that it would have in fact worked if it had been on at 8:00 have. things that transpired since the time that you were
considering the decision reinforced your instinct? >> i think it would have worked. i think would have worked. but you know, listen, you know t all worked with out for jon. i think it would have worked on nbc. and i think certainly as the world has become even more fragmented it would have worked even more. one of the ideas we had was whether or not we should do a half hour of nightly news with brian williams and followed by a half hour of jon stewart. that is another thing that we thought of. but alas, none of that happened. >> who are the people that you most admire in the business. >> there is a lot of different groups of people that i admire and am incredibly fond of. i think i have been incredibly fortunate to work with some the greats. tom, jane, bryant gumbel and bob costa and matt and katie and brian. so i have been incredibly fortunate in that respect. you know, you talk about people i admired, i admire
rupert murdoch tremendously and i really admire the job that roger ailes has done at fox news. >> what don hewitt did with "60 minutes". >> of course k of course. the people in the digital world, you know, you talked about mark zuckerburg and what he has done at face boork and steve jobs and what he has done at apple. you know. >> what is really tough and really is tough, you take a good franchise but to keep 2 fresh and to keep it alive. >> that is one of the hardest things. >> what you did at the today show and what jeff did at "60 minutes," you know what charlie rose has done here. >> yeah. >> really lots of good people. it's the hardest thing to be fresh, to maintain your freshness. the hardest thing year after year after year. the. >> the hardest thing is when are you number one and on top and erv is gunning for you. and to continue to keep that fresh and vibrant and original, that is incredibly hard. and you knows thats' why i'm
proud of the fact that nightly news has been number one for as long as it's been and the "today show" number one as long as it is and meet the press has been number one for as long as it has. >> having said that would you go to your grave and say why couldn't i have made it work in prime time? >> no, because listen, i'm incredibly proud of what we were able to accomplish in the company as a whole. and the fact is when i look, every media company has difficulties. that was our difficulty. obviously it attracted a lot of attention. but i will walk away from this company and hopefully not into my grave any time soon, thank you, charlie. but i will walk away -- >> you're only 45. >> exactly. >> are you looking at another 45 years. >> i will take it right now, done. >> but i will walk away from this incredibly proud of what we accomplished together at nbc universal and obviously i wish we had had more success at nbc entertainment, i do. but you know what, we gave it everything we come the rest of the company worked incredibly well.
that piece i wish we had done a better job. >> what is it you want to us come away with? >> well, i just wanted to say hi to you. but look, i just, i guess as i think about this 25 year chapter coming to a close, i'm incredibly-- i'm incredibly proud of those 25 years. we didn't get everything right. but we got a lot of it right. and i also realize how fortunate and lucky i was, you know, to be able to have this opportunity. and i take none of that for granted. and at the end, you know, i'll walk away, what i will miss the most are the people. because i spent my whole life there and it is the relationships you form. but-- but i'm incredibly-- incredibly proud of the company that nbc universal has become. bob wright helped put the pieces together. he really put the pieces
together. i think we took hopefully then were able to take them and supercharge them and make them even better. and now we're going to hand them off to the next stewarts of the company and i'm incredibly excited what they will do with them. >> on the newsfront, every where i go people say is bloomberg and abc going to strike a deal. do you know anything about that? >> well, you tell me. but i don't know whether it going to happen or not. >> i don't know either. >> does it make sense? does it-- you are a guy that looked at these kinds of things. here is a scenario somebody said to me. as soon as that has, as soon as that happens, if bloomberg and abc, we've got a new president of abc news and we have a new president here at bloomberg. the former colleague of yours at nbc. and as soon as that happens will you have a cbs will move to have a merger between cbs news and cnn. now you have been there listening to these arguments and these proposals have been made to you.
do they make sense? >> first of all, charlie, you laid out a lot of possibilities there and a lot of scenarios. >> look, i don't know if think of those are going to happen. all i can speak to is this, that the combination of having a broadcast and a cable outlet has made nbc news that much stronger. and we are strong because of the quality of our people and the quality of our programs, but also because the fact that we have msnbc and the fact that we have cnbc and that ecosystem has made us much stronger. >> if you had to bet where you might end up, bet, based on your own instincts, based on whatever self-awareness you have, you will end up in some variation of digital news and information. >> i have a lot of interests, charlie. that is certainly one of them. and i am going to take the next couple of months to think about what the right move is those are world was that are incredibly interesting to me. >> thank you for coming. >> ims's always happy to be
here, thanks, charlie. >> the great julia child once said noncooks think it's silly to invest two hours work in two minutes enjoyment. but if cooking is ef necessary ent, so is the ballet. great chefs would certainly agree. to them cooking is a performance and their patrons are the audience. 147 of these masters have been granted the distinction of grand chef by the chateau association, the prestigious collection of hotels and restaurants around the world. now 85 of these have come together to collaborate on two new cookbooks. 85 inspirational chefs, and chefs at home. three of the contributors join me now, they are daniel boulud, chef and owner of several restaurants including new york's daniel. patrick o'connel, chef and proprietor of the end at little washington in the virginia countryside. and jonathan cartwright, executive chef at the white barn inn in kenney budget beach maine. i am pleased to have all of them at this table to talk
about something that i love which is food. not necessarily cooking. >> so where did this start? who was the inspiration for all this? >> our british friends did a similar publication. and it was very successful. but few people thought that a-- as big as our kos pull something as diverse as all these various cuisines together so it was quite an undertaking. we have been talking about it for three or four years but in the last year we finally went full speed ahead and put it together. >> to accomplish what? >> well, it accomplishes many things. it illustrates a kind of coming of age of the culinary arts in north america. which is something that no one can deny any more when we have three star chefs. >> congratulations, sir. >> thank you. >> among us. >> and many others. >> we never thought that day would come where the french would acknowledge that there were restaurants in our
country on par with their own. so this reinforces that. it also illustrates to people in america that we now have enough restaurants that you can make a sort of gastronomic pilgrimmage right here at home. you no longer have to go all the way to europe. and so many people in these times are foregoing trips they may have been taking to europe and rediscovering america. >> all right so, tell me, hold up the three books just for the benefit of people so they will know what we where talking about. what is in this book? >> this is-- who will tell me this, daniel. >> well, this one it is 85 chefs cooking three recipes each. so that is going to give you about 270 recipes. >> these are favorite recipes wnd and they are restaurant recipes. the restaurant is portrayed through the recipe here. and of course your chef story through that. and it is from coast-to-coast, north to south including canada and
mexico. and the same chef, the same 85 chef are making also a home recipe. so you have 85 home recipe. >> these are recipes that they serve in the restaurant. >> yes. >> and these are recipes they serve at home. >> this is really the coffee table, beautiful book, inspirational. and certainly inspirational for people who love food. and this one is the one you take to your kitchen and you really cook simple things. >> do you do that these days. you can actually be seen in your kitchen at home with a recipe. >> yes. and i force myself to only use three ingredients. i am not going to cook with more than three ingredients and i make a dish out of that. >> is that true. >> yes. >> what would be an example. >> for example n this book i made a cod lyonnaise, basically the cod is roasted with thyme and garlic so i don't count the those as ingredients but seasoning. then onions and potatoes and
that's it. and cut the onion and the potato. >> what is in third book. >> that is our international guide that lists all of the 500 properties throughout the world in 60 different nations now who are members of this organization. >> all right. so you select the recipes a by those that are in your restaurant, those that you cook at home, and each chef selected what, was it what they liked, what their favorite was what their customers liked. >> a mixture of all. but ones they are most proud of. >> proud of. >> in the 85 inspirational and ones that reflect their style and their region. >> okay so, of yours what is in here. >> i have an apple tart since i'm in the heart of apple country. i also have popcorn with trough els. which we serve in my kitchen. and. >> it is delicious. >> it is, i've been there. >> and what do you have. >> i have some scallops from the maine coast and obviously a little bit of lobster from kennebunkport,
and pheasant at the time of the book and coming out with the book, that was in season and nice to put on there. and i little creme broulee. >> i may be completely wrong about this but did you spend any time in copenhagen. >> i didn't, no. >> i did. >> you did. >> that is what it was. >> i did. >> how long ago. >> two and a half years. i loved it. >> i mean copenhagen today in an interestingly way represents one other dimension of cooking which is a, certainly what rene has done which is creating a restaurant. but the idea and this is what made me think about this, maine and lobster, and apples and the inn at little washington and all that you do. the idea of people being able to develop cuisines around their own local supplies. >> uh-huh. >> absolutely. and i think that's the direction the chateau has always been in a way. it is that they, every individual restaurant are really looking locally at
what first their region can offer. and that gives them the personality. >> exactly. >> so in terms of deciding, at being chefs and chef owners, do you constantly on the lookout for new recipes? i mean something, what might strike your fancy to say i want to try this? >> from the book. >> no, just from any life. >> well, you don't sleep very well in our profession. and so-- . >> when you wake in the night before the next sleeping pill takes effect. >> you begin to be sort of half in a dream state and it's like a cole identify scope. >> where you serious. >> twot allly serious, absolutely. >> so your brain -- >> this is the coolest guy, he has never been stressful in his life. look at him. >> we hides it well. >> i think inspiration like patrick said can come as you sleep, you know, inspiration
can wake you up or get you in your sleep. but also they come among the team you work with w the travel we do. the exchange we have among young chefs. we have chefs from so many different countries cooking in america today. and we also like you said rene for example in denmark will send a chef to america and we'll send a chef there. and all these crossexchange, i think. and i think we benefit also certainly, i mean, from the different region we have in america. will provide us with some unique things. >> the seasons just demand that you change. there is no way you can just dot same thing all year. >> i think in america now we have great produce that comes in great farmers, great forragers, those new incede-- ingredients that perhaps have been elsewhere in the world but recently found or brought in and through the season brought in that inspires everything. like daniel said the team very important. those guys we encourage them
to take their ideas and run with it and let's have a taste of it. let's look at it and then we say yeah that is a good idea. and there are many, many talented young chefs that want to come to america. >> that is the thing. every chef is not a remembered for everything he created and everything he cooked. he will only be remembered for a few dishes. sort of a landmark to his talent. and i think -- >> sometimes one. >> so what is the one for you? >> weim's young. i haven't got tlen. >> what is your signature dish. >> i think it changes. i hope it changes. i had a writing teacher once who said if you read what you wrote last year and you're not embarrassed by t you're not making progress so i'm embarrassed by everything i've ever done. >> i will give up on you. i will never get an answer. >> signature dish. >> wlob ster for us. we have a lobster on at the timea cheese. >> i have a dish which which created actually 25 years ago. and it is called -- dish only do it once a year for
new year's eve now. and it is sea scallop with wlars of black trough el and it is during the fresh black truffle season and wrapped in spinach and wrapped in a golden sort of puff pastry and it is a simple dish but to me it's a sample of a dish i created and i never touch it again. >> is it a sophistication for people who enjoy food and people who are very good at preparing food to appreciate trough els? >> oh, yes,. >> that's an element of sophistication in terms of preparation. >> not only that but truffle has not yet been domesticated to be able to grow it every day, all year long. so it's very rare. it is difficult to find. depends so much on the weather. and every year it does, it's like the stock market. it just keeps moving. >> this are some ideas as part of the current conversation. i want you to tell me that it is true. that french cuisine no longer has this sort of
exalt-- exalted place, i'm asking you. >> this. >> this is a man who was born in leon. >> and i'm very proud to be french and i'm still very proud to be able to master french cuisine but i think french cuisine is the foundation of all key seen. and they-- cuisine, there wouldn't be great cuisine in america there wouldn't be great cuisine in denmark. there wouldn't be great cuisine in many countries if it wasn't for french cuisine to begin with. but after that i think young chefs have been cross-pollinating a little bit from all over the world with many different inspiration and i think the creativity today is not only french any more. nobody expects only fleferj to be the center of creativity. and so it is normal, it is easy to say oh, the french are not out they are just now it is inflated around them so it is kind of like hide them a little bit more. but they are still there. >> so what spanish food is
rising. >> it is. it continues but i think very quietly, american cuisine is shining and becoming much more powerful. and i think even the french would acknowledge that. >> what is it about american cuisine that makes it increasingly powerful. >> i look at the energy particularly because of the influx of brilliant young people entering the profession. we have in my kitchen people who could have easily been doctors, brain surgeons, scientists. but have graph tated toward cuisine. >> and the restaurants the staff, i think many good restaurants have good price in america, and i think even the most casual approach of it, i think we have wonderful things i think in america. >> i think we have wonderful customers as well. in places that i lived in the world, the feedback from our american guests is very truthful, very forthcoming.
>> they appreciate call. >> savviest dining public in the world, absolutely. >> no question. >> dow all agree on that. >> i mean you can ask the french, when the americans don't fly to france, they are crying. they say where are the americans we where suffering. >> because they know they would bring what. >> they would bring certainly the passion about dining which sometimes they lack lust never other countries. >> 58 inspirational chefs, recipes from north america, mexico and the caribbean, all around the world, unique 2011, and chefs at home. >> $30 book that is wonderful, the chef at home. >> absolutely. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, gate to see you. >> great to be here. >> thank you for joining us. see you next time.