There was a time when NBC could do no wrong.
No. 1 in prime time — No. 1 for a long time. Year in, year out: the hottest shows, the greatest buzz. The home of "Friends" and "Frasier," "ER" and "Today."
Day in, day out — no one topped them.
Until on some days, soon a lot of days, other networks did. And suddenly the "Peacock Network" wasn't so grand.
Its vaulted financial network fell on hard times. Its news network fell on even harder times. And then today, this: Promises to cut $750 million in costs and 700 people from their jobs.
Reminders, as if we needed them, that life is fickle. Fame and money even more so.
Over the quarter century I've reported on companies, if I've seen it once, I've seen it a hundred times.
When Chrysler was hot, then it was not.
When Wal-Mart was a darling, then it was a devil.
When Apple was up and coming, then crashing and burning, then hopping and happening again... all in the span of a decade!
Just like that. Just like now. Such is life.
I've known great ratings. I've known so-so ratings. I prefer the great — we all do in this business. But we all know there are no guarantees in this business or in any business.
Fame, they say, is fleeting. Which is why my Dad suggested a long time ago, that I stay humble. They said it would come in handy.
He was right.
And he said that when NBC was No. 1 and no one even considered the possibility it wouldn't stay that way.
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