NBC Universal’s Bob Wright and his wife were on Your World this afternoon to talk about Autism but Cavuto managed to get a couple of questions regarding MSNBC, CNBC, and NBC in as well. Though Wright dodged a bit about a CNBC/MSNBC merger and didn’t directly answer the question with a flat out denial, he did say that he was pleased with the direction MSNBC and CNBC are going, particularly in primetime. And he did flat out deny that NBC was up for sale. This particular line of questioning started with Cavuto wondering if their grandson’s Autism and their subsequent crusade to raise awareness for the disease maybe might have taken Wright’s “eye off the ball at Universal” (which Wright steadfastly denied). Transcript follows…
CAVUTO: Bob, can I ask you this? And I don`t this to be impolitic. But do you think, because of your concern and focus on your grandson, that your — your eye was off the ball at Universal?
BOB WRIGHT: No, I don`t, because the — you know, that is the first thing I think about every morning. Am I doing everything possible to make and keep Universal to be as successful as possible?
CAVUTO: But NBC has fallen in the ratings.
B. WRIGHT: Well, you know, these things happen, Neil.
B. WRIGHT: You don`t — it`s — it`s — I have been there before.
It is — you — you get on a — and a — we had a very, very long trend. And we have to, you know, pick it up. We have got a lot of brand-new shows. But, you know, anybody that — anybody that gets involved in something like this, you think every waking moment, am I — am I allocating my time? Am I doing what I should be doing? It actually makes you more focused, rather than less focused.
CAVUTO: But — but I know a thing or two about illness as well, Bob. And I know how, sometimes, it can preoccupy you. And given the troubles at NBC, you know, rumors that MSNBC and CNBC are in trouble, did any of this maybe leave it to underlings who were not up to the job?
B. WRIGHT: Well, I have got to say, first of all, MSNBC and CNBC are doing much better. And CNBC is doing just fine. So…
CAVUTO: So, you are not planing any changes there?
B. WRIGHT: No. They`re — I mean, they have — they have really improved dramatically. And I`m very — I`m very pleased about…
CAVUTO: MSNBC and CNBC?
B. WRIGHT: Yes. The — the — the issue we have — the only real issue we have is — you know, is in prime time. And we know it. And we are putting a lot of resources and very, very good people. We brought a lot of new people into the mix, some…
B. WRIGHT: … new producers and new talent and different directions. And, so, we just have to let it play out.
CAVUTO: One rumor has it that MSNBC and CNBC would combine. Is that true?
B. WRIGHT: The — we are — we are here to talk about autistic…
CAVUTO: I know. I know. But you were also open to talk about other things.
One other that I heard is that NBC is on the block. Is it?
B. WRIGHT: We are here to talk about Autism.
NBC is — NBC has — is a marvelous organization. And it`s had enormous success over a wide-ranging time. And, hopefully, it will be doing that for a very long time.
CAVUTO: So, not on the block?
B. WRIGHT: No.
UPDATE: Broadcasting & Cable’s John M. Higgins has a bit more…
UPDATE 2: Replaced rough transcript with an official transcript.