The Jeff Zucker Farewell Tour made another stop Monday morning in his hometown of Miami, host city to the National Association of Television Programming Executives conference. The outgoing NBC Universal (NYSE: GE) CEO wouldn’t say much on the controversy du jour — the sudden departure of Keith Olbermann from MSNBC — but he did defend his track record on the digital side of the business, including his decisions to participate in Hulu and do deals with Netflix.
In a Q&A with Nomura Securities analyst Michael Nathanson — who noted in his introduction that he happens to be Zucker’s brother-in-law — Zucker laid out the rationale for his digital strategy. “I don’t know that it’s been perfect, but we experimented and I feel glad about what we’ve done,” he said.
For his role in Hulu, which NBCU launched alongside News Corp. (NSDQ: NWS), Zucker described the online video hub as a necessity to keep consumers away from piracy and to extract more value from catch-up viewing than via DVR, thanks to better control of the advertising experience. As for Netflix, he noted that there was only one