With Jon Stewart’s contract with The Daily Show up in 2008, it’s only a matter of time before the (fairly lucrative) offers start pouring in. And Jeff Zucker is the first to toss his hat into the ring, wooing Stewart with a romantic dinner, an NBC tote bag and, potentially, an offer to take over Conan O’Brien’s soon-to-be former job as host of Late Night.
NBC Universal President/Chief Executive Jeff Zucker and NBC Entertainment/Universal Media Studios Co-Chair Marc Graboff recently wined and dined the satirical news anchor and his agent, James Dixon.
According to a network source, Zucker and Graboff didn???t focus on pitching any specific role at the dinner meeting. ???They just made their interest known in finding a way to do business together if Jon was ever available,??? says the source, who categorized the talks as ???exploratory.???
Naturally, we can only speculate as to where this meeting of the minds took place (Per Se? Carmine’s? Kennedy Fried Chicken?) however it should be interesting to see what—if any—follow-up transpires.
Either way, with NBC making their interest known, Comedy Central had better start pinching pennies in preparation for their counter offer. Because Zucker is nothing if not determined, and with those deep pockets of his, it’s only a matter of time before he’s wall-papered Stewart’s dressing room with crossword puzzles, granted him exclusive access to a custom-made handicapped bathroom (Xanadu!) and offered him enough money to save every man, woman and child in Darfur and still have enough for a 2-bedroom in the West Village.
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