Former NBC CEO Bob Wright is weighing in on Donald Trump’s impact on the 2016 presidential race and the future of TV.
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“I thought for a long period of time it was total denial on the part of Republicans. I was watching the audiences that he [Donald Trump] was pulling together. He is pulling together a lot of independents, a lot of Democrats and Republicans,” Wright told the FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo.
Wright talked about the attraction of Trump’s political style.
“Plain spoken is something that is not allowed in politics and nobody thinks they can get away with it and he’s doing it. It’s refreshing, it’s no political correctness, it touches what people really want to know and hear and I think he would make a very good president.”
Wright then discussed why he sees candidates’ abilities to show their leadership qualities as more important than explaining their policies in great detail.
“The reality is this is a democracy, not a republic, in the sense that the president has limited legislative ability. The president can’t do a lot of things, only Congress can do them and the president can lead Congress. So when you’re really looking for a president, you want a leader, you want somebody who can influence Congress and have a good idea where they are. Every one of the candidates, all 17 of them, had big position papers, page after page, 25 pages – those things don’t really make that much difference.”
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Wright then looked back on how television has changed since he headed NBC, which is now owned by Comcast (CMCSA), and what the future holds for the industry.
“My world was cable and satellite, as the elder alternatives. And also working on the broadcast network and the cable channels we created or bought into. This is exciting because now it’s really on demand for people, they can get a chance to see exactly what it is they want to see, when they want to see it.”
But Wright says the shift towards on demand is also a plus for live programming as well.
“I think it also bodes very well for live television, because live television now has a real differential. And people that are going to sit down and watch six episodes of Netflix are probably going to also want to see live television.”
Wright pointed out the shift to more personalized, individual viewing with the growth of on demand as well as streaming.
“There is a great place for live television, in news, information, sports and there is just going to be a tremendous amount of individual viewing. Whether it’s streaming, or whether it is just on demand for all kinds of other things, that’s the world we’re going to be living in for the next number of years,” said Wright.