Zucker: “I think we’ve reached the bottom”


NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker said in an interview Thursday on CNBC, which happens to be owned by NBCU, that while it’s still tough, “I think we’ve reached the bottom” and he’s actually seeing some improvement in some areas.

“We’ve seen some signs of improvement. Our local TV business for the 3rd quarter, our local television stations, seem to be improving,” Zucker said in an interview with CNBC’s Erin Burnett from the Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley, ID. “It’s not what we want it to be, but it’s a little better,’ he added.

“Television advertising as a whole feels a little better on the national scale,” Zucker said. But he noted that the main indicator for television advertising is the Upfront. Normally that process would be completely done by now, but this year it really hasn’t started as far as any deals are concerned. “There’s still a lot of apprehension out there,” he noted.

According to Zucker, advertisers are looking for a lot more flexibility. “Obviously we’re interested in providing that, but those conversations are much more difficult this year,” he said.

Asked about M&A activity, Zucker said not to expect much dealmaking in the media sector this year. “Buyers are looking for bargains. Sellers are looking to get what they think they were worth a year ago. That makes it difficult to get anything done,” Zucker said.