Morning read: Sony, Microsoft We-too Nintendo, Zucker gets one right

Slow news day unless your into games, in which case you can gorge yourself on news from E3 in LA. Both Sony and Microsoft introduced wireless motion-detection controllers for the PS3 and Xbox 360, respectively, aping Nintendo’s breakthrough wireless wand for the Wii. Write-ups here, here and just about everywhere.

Back here in Washington, the Justice Department is probing Google, Apple, Yahoo and Genentech on the possibility that they maintained an illegal conspiracy not to recruit each others’ executives, sources told the Washington Post.

jeff-zuckerThe morning’s most interesting item, though, is not really breaking news. It’s contained a the transcript of NBC CEO Jeff Zucker’s conversation with Kara Swisher at the D7 conference last week, and which the Wall Street Journal  has now posted.

In it, Zucker acknowledges something that has been too slow in dawning on media executives generally: scale–and the economies that go with it–is a thing of the past:

In and of themselves, each of these [digital initiatives] are not huge businesses, but I think that’s the issue now in media businesses like ours. You do have to have 10 businesses like this that make up for the one where you’ve lost. So you have to work that much harder. You have to sell that much harder. You have to play that much harder.

So if we have to be at iTunes and Hulu and and DVD sales, wherever we are, up and down the line, we’ll do that.


We’ve got to change our cost structure. We’ve got to have 10 or 20 businesses that make up for it, and I think the combination of those things will help. We also then have to get to quarters. Digital quarters.

Cost structure and deal structure. It’s one thing to give participants a piece of the DVD revenue and call it a day. But structuring profit-sharing deals where you have to divvy up 10 or 20 revenue streams in place of one will certainly keep the lawyers busy.