Transcript: The Miserable Multitasking Multiverse
Cautionary tales for our showbiz leaders at Sun Valley
This is Rob Long with Martini Shot for The Ankler.
If you think of it in a certain way, General Dwight Eisenhower was the showrunner of World War II —or at least, one of them. I mean, the other side had a showrunner too, but Ike was ours. He went on, of course, to be the President of the United States, which is closer to being the chief content officer for the entire country in that you get blamed for a lot of things you can't control and most of the time you're furious that people won't just do what they're told.
Both of those jobs — showrunner and chief content officer, but if you want to get granular, I'd include being Supreme Allied Commander and President of the United States, so all four of those jobs — have their differences and specific complexities.
None of them are as powerful as they seem. The first thing you learn, when taking over a major military initiative, a half-hour comedy or the executive branch of the federal government is that there's a much longer list of things you can't do than you can.
That's a lesson that every studio and network executive learns from the moment they deliver their first script note.
About the only power any of those jobs do have, when you get right down to it, is the power to decide what we're going to tackle right now. Controlling the day is pretty much the key to running something successfully — otherwise, you're just waiting around for something to happen that you can then react to.