ZUCKER, JEFF (1965– ), U.S. television executive. Zucker, who was born in Miami, Fla., received a bachelor's degree from Harvard University in 1986 after serving as president of the school newspaper, the Harvard Crimson. At the Crimson, Zucker encouraged a decades-old rivalry with the Harvard Lampoon, led by Conan O'Brien, a future colleague. When Zucker failed to gain admission to Harvard Law, he was hired by the National Broadcasting Company to research material for its coverage of the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. The following year Zucker became a producer for the highly rated Today Show and in 1992 became its executive producer. He introduced rock concerts on the shows and incorporated a mass live audience through a window on Rockefeller Plaza, from which the nbc Studios broadcast. In 2000, at the age of 35, he was named nbc's entertainment president and in 2003 was put in charge of the network's news and cable operations as well. Following a merger with Vivendi Universal, Zucker was promoted to president of its television group in 2004. The following year, Zucker was again promoted by NBC, to chief executive behind the chairman, Robert C. Wright.
[Stewart Kampel (2nd ed.)]