When Does "Fantastic job" Mean "You're getting canned"?Lately the internet has been "abuzz" with rumors that NBC wants to dump its golden boy chief programmer Ben Silverman. So of course NBC itself has been equally "abuzz" assuring everyone that it wants no such thing! Are they telling the truth? Oh boy, it's time to do some serious parsing of corporate spin: Among the reasons that NBC has to be pissed at Silverman: he hasn't resurrected the network's ratings; the upcoming season of shows has no clear breakout hit; he's a party boy who stays out all night and doesn't come into the office till 11; and he tapped his old friends for important positions they weren't qualified for, which resulted in NBC doing things like paying his deputy's boyfriend $1.75 million to take his stupid show pitch and go away. At a normal job, this would result in your boss hating you. But NBC chief Jeff Zucker couldn't be happier about how things are going!
"Ben has done a fantastic job. So far he's exceeded all of our expectations and the financial targets that we've set," said his boss, NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker. "We're talking about him being with us for a long time to come."
Words like "fantastic" are as common in corporate statements as words like "the." If you read press releases, you'll notice that every company is "delighted" about everything that happens. Therefore it means nothing. The fact that NBC is "talking about" Silverman being there a long time is not as reassuring as, for example, this alternative: "He will be here a long time."
"The shows that we have for this season are more commercial than any programs that we've had in the past four years," Zucker said.
Silverman's shows may suck, but they get a lot of product placements. Point in his favor.
"From our perspective there are no questions about Ben Silverman's job security. From our perspective he has done everything we've asked and more. We're incredibly happy with the job he's done, and hope that he'll be with us for a long time to come."
Disregard "incredibly," obviously. The inclusion of "from our perspective" and "hope" are bad signs. Consider that Zucker could have said: "There are no questions about Ben Silverman's job security. He has done everything we asked and more. We're happy with the job he's done, and he'll be with us for a long time." Maybe they'll just dump him when his contract is up. Incredibly fantastic and delightful! [LAT, Jossip, Mixed Media]