How close were we to seeing Donald Trump try to run for President? Close enough for NBC to have to talk him out of it!
NBC Chairman Robert Greenblatt took the stage with NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke and President of Alternative and Late Night Programming Paul Telegdy to talk about their position on Trump's controversial behavior this past year. Plus, are they worried about Jimmy Kimmel going up against Jay Leno?
When asked about Trump's remarks during the presidential race and if they ever considered stepping in, Greenblatt replied: "That's a good question. I don't really know the answer to it. We live in this country where you can sort of say anything you want as long as you're not harming people. He's got a political belief system and we talk to him all the time, but I really don't think that what he's doing in his personal life is going to corrupt what's happening on the show. That said, if he sort of becomes somehow hurtful or says or does things that cross a line, I guess we would figure out what to do about that."
Telegdy added: "He keeps a lot of publicists very busy, but so far we're fine."
According to Greenblatt, the public has gotten off lucky regarding Trump in the media. "We talked him out of running for president. Wasn't that good enough?" he jokingly asked the room of reporters.
Moving on to the late night wars, Jimmy Kimmel recently slammed Leno, calling him "insecure" and stating the Late Night host "totally sold out." But NBC promises they aren't worried. In fact, they've already extended Leno's contract.
"The reason we've not that concerned is because of Jay's legacy all these years being the incumbent number one," Greenblatt said. "I think the bigger concern I would have is the loss of Nightline in that period."
And the rumors that Jimmy Fallon would succeed Jay Leno aren't true…at least not yet. "All of those conversations are a bit premature," the NBC boss insisted.
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)