What does Ben Silverman, skiing enthusiast and co-chairman of craptacular NBC, do when everyone wonders why he's still employed? Judging by today's New York Post, tell his favorite outlet how great he is.
Jeff Zucker has canned pretty much everyone responsible for finding new NBC shows — except Silverman — and given nearly a quarter of the primetime schedule — i.e. what Silverman's supposed to fill — to Jay Leno by moving him to 10 p.m. As for Silverman's job performance since joining the network in 2007, NBC's ratings are still in the toilet, every one of the shows that Stiller has championed has either been cancelled (Knight Rider, Kath & Kim) or nonexistent (Without Breasts There Is No Paradise).
But never worry for hard-partying Ben: an "NBC source" tells the Post "there are many reasons why Silverman's contract, which expires in June, will likely be extended." Among those reasons: still blaming the year-old writer's strike and now the latest bloodletting itself. Silverman's own handpicked deputy was included on that list: Teri Weinberg, an executive he brought with him from his old production company and tasked with doing his job while he went skiing and chatted with Ryan Seacrest from the Olympics.
"Jeff wants to give Ben a chance to work with his own team in a normalized environment," said an NBC source.
An NBC source said Zucker thinks Silverman is "the best dealmaker in town," and that he "brings the show and the business together better than anybody."
Who could this source be? Silverman has a penchant for corporate nonsense-speak — "I think I am the audience, you know what I mean? I viscerally respond. I am conceptual and a dealmaker,” he once told me — and he's suspected as the one who griped to the Post's Page Six that NBC's troubles were all the fault of one of his now-fired subordinates.
But maybe we're jumping to conclusions. Why wouldn't NBC be scrambling to keep this suave operator around?