By now, we've all gotten to know new NBC co-chair/rock-star Ben Silverman well enough that we feel sufficiently informed about his lofty goals, party "problems", recreational passions, and early corporate triumphs, but now that his reign at the network has begun in earnest, we think it's important to recognize the concrete steps he's already taking to promote the Culture of Fun he believes will deliver the Peacock from its fourth-place misery. Among the paradigm-shifting changes already instituted: doing away with those annoying morning meetings, which did nothing but amplify the pain of a skull-shattering hangover with the bad vibes transmitted by the overnight Nielsens. Reports the LAT:
For more than a decade, senior executives at NBC in Burbank have started their day with "the 9:30 meeting" to debate marketing plans or prime-time scheduling changes or simply to brainstorm. But Silverman, the self-proclaimed "Rock Star Chairman," isn't much of a morning guy and has shifted the meeting to 2:30 p.m. — or later.
"I felt the conversation was all about last night's ratings, and as the fourth-place network that was a negative way to start the day," Silverman said in an interview Tuesday. "I wanted these meetings to be more forward-looking, and now they are."
Known for his effusive charm and his ravenous appetite, Silverman has a penchant for expensive sushi and for triple-booking dinners. It's not unusual for him to have a business meeting at the unorthodox hour of 9:15 p.m. After a few drinks, Silverman might bear-hug a top network executive and exclaim, "I love you, man." Even in the daylight hours, Silverman punctuates his e-mails with "Love U!"
"I'm pretty much a 24/7 guy," Silverman said. "I shut down the BlackBerry at 1 a.m."
Expect still more profound changes at NBC as Silverman slowly adapts network operations to better fit the insomniac rhythms of his 24/7 lifestyle. Soon, those afternoon meetings will be shifted to all-night development powwows held in a poolside cabana at the Tropicana Bar, with those who abandon the boss before last call punished by being awoken at 4 a.m. by a buzzing Blackberry relentlessly delivering agenda items like "Check on the rights to that Nicaraguan telenovela about the girl who works in a sneaker factory to earn enough money for a labiaplasty. Think it will play huge here! Love u 4-eva! Hugz! Ben" to be covered at the next day's happy hour strategy session.