NBC has become the network of old, stale pride in its past – is your business the same?


Once upon a time, NBC was the cool network – last month, it came in 5th behind Univision. The only ratings bright spot is Jay Leno at the Tonight Show, who usually leads in his slot. Dumping Leno is one of the first smart moves NBC has made in about a decade. Leno is the perfect symbol of what is wrong with NBC. Tired, out of ideas, dull. When was the last time Leno was relevant? You never see a Youtube clip with him. His jokes never get emailed around. You never say to anyone, “Hey, did you see Leno last night?” Because even if you saw Leno, you wouldn’t admit it. Leno is an aged franchise, non threatening and vanilla. So is the Today Show, which has been sinking in the ratings. (The only buzz created by the The Today Show in years was when the aging Matt Lauer kicked poor Ann Curie off the show and the weather guy pitched a fit on live TV.) NBC is also the giver of Donald Trump’s mug and ego, another aging franchise, nonthreatening in its predictability.

Sometimes a winner is really a loser. Winners grow old and slow. If you fail to risk and reinvent, your brand will grow as stale as NBC. NBC is paying for resting on its past glories. Only pain and daring will revive NBC. Look at your business. How much of your success do you owe to the accomplishments of your past? If it’s a lot, then set your sights on outdoing your old victories. Never take the future for granted.

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