Posted: May 25th, 2022
Turning around a failing organization: NBC
One of the most outstanding management success stories of the latter 20th century was Jack Welch’s revitalization of the then failing GE corporate enterprise, through his statistically quantified quality control procedure known as Six Sigma. Quality control is defined as “the managerial process during which actual process performance is evaluated and actions are taken on unusual performance. It is a process to ensure whether a product meets predefined standards and requisite action taken if the standards are not met.” (“Quality Control,” Six Sigma, 2004) Welch set standards for his new corporation in specific and quantifiable ways, and forced its different divisions to meet those specifications.
However, at present, there is a glaring decline in one of GE’s key divisions, that of NBC. Once upon a time, long, long ago in entertainment news history, NBC was at the forefront of cutting edge television, with its ‘Must See’ Thursday lineup of “Friends,” “Seinfeld,” and “ER,” and the envy of every other network. Then along came HBO, and along went these classic shows into syndication, or in the case of “ER,” simply downhill, as its major stars departed. Now, over the course of the first seventeen weeks of the current television season, CBS has been first in viewer’s homes fifteen times. (CNN.com, 2005)
Although NBC still holds on, in the top five, and occasionally surprises with a jump in the Nielson ratings, it has yet to regain sure footing. Clearly, this fall in its place at the top ratings is, if not a fall in artistic quality, than a sure deficit in the appeal of the network to viewers. Before, NBC succeeded by leading not by copycatting other networks. “Seinfeld,” “Friends” and “ER” were all risky in their time. The management solution is to play to the product’s strengths. Currently, NBC’s strength is the vitality and youth of its news. “NBC’s Nightly News’ handily won the evening news ratings race, averaging 11.4 million viewers (8.0 rating, 15 share).” (CNN.com, 2005) Its reality television show “The Apprentice” has proved one of the network’s sure-fire cash cows.
Thus, introducing more staff in these areas of television development to emphasize informative news and reality programs would be a potential solution. This would also cut program cost, as these programs are less expensive to produce, yet are popular. With the set Six Sigma goal of becoming number one, NBC must begin a new network strategy to regain the perception of its brand name quality, and to retain its strength of innovation.
CNN.com. (17 Jan 2005) “CBS Back on top of the Ratings.” Retrieved 23 Jan 2005. http://www.cnn.com/2005/SHOWBIZ/TV/01/20/nielsens.ap/index.html
Six Sigma Dictionaries. (2004) “Quality Control.” Retrieved 23 Jan 2005.
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