NBC sends Donald Trump a warning

The network's entertainment unit says it'll take action if the celebrity businessman 'does things that cross a line.'

By Aimee Picchi Jan 7, 2013 11:59AM

Credit: Donna Ward/Getty Images
Caption: Donald Trump leaves 'The Late Show with David Letterman' at Ed Sullivan Theater on October 25, 2012As the host of NBC's "The Celebrity Apprentice," real estate developer Donald Trump walks a fine line between generating buzz -- and viewers -- and creating animosity. 

Now, Trump might want to make sure he keeps on the "buzz" side of the equation, with Comcast's (CMCSA) NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt saying the network will take action if he "becomes somehow hurtful and says or does things that cross a line," according to a report in Deadline.com

Some might say Trump has already stepped over the line: a petition started last year aimed at urging Macy's (M) to sever ties with Trump has gained almost 680,000 signatures.

According to the petition, Trump has "engaged in sexist behavior" and "perpetuated the racially charged birther conspiracy," among its complaints. The same campaign, from the liberal group MoveOn.org, last month hired a mobile billboard reading "Dump Trump" to circle Macy's corporate headquarters. 

Macy's has sidestepped the issue, with chief executive Terry Lundgren noting that the perfume, clothing and other merchandise it sells bearing Trump's name "are not representative of any political position," according to the New York Daily News

So far, it seems Trump is on NBC's good side. The network renewed his show, with "Celebrity Apprentice" returning on March 3 for an all-star edition. (The star power in the newest edition of Trump's long-running show is debatable, relying on competitors from the program's fast five seasons. They include actors Stephen Baldwin and Gary Busey and musicians Dee Snider and Bret Michaels.)

Cracks might be showing in Trump's ratings pull, however. In May, "Celebrity Apprentice" drew the program's lowest-rated finale episode, with only 6.8 million viewers tuning in. That's a far cry from the 12.1 million viewers who watched the show's finale in 2008, when Piers Morgan won the competition.

Despite the flagging ratings, "Celebrity Apprentice" is still a workhorse for NBC -- and Greenblatt adds that the network doesn't think Trump has crossed that line yet. 

"He has his political belief system but I really don’t think what he’s doing in his personal life is going to corrupt what he’s doing on the show," Greenblatt said. He spoke at the Television Critics Association tour, held this week in California.

He added, referring to Trump's toying with the idea of running for president in the last election, "We talked him out of running for president, wasn't that good enough?"

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Jan 7, 2013 3:22PM
Money talks and liberal bull crap well you know!
Jan 7, 2013 3:22PM
Viewers are still tuning into NBC?  The National Broadcasting Crap!?!  Ya don't say!!!  Anybody who watches Donald Trump gets exactly what they deserve:  A blowhard!!!  Gather up your guts, NBC, and tell The Donald what you told Ann Curry:  You're Fired!!! 
Jan 7, 2013 3:19PM
I will not be watching Trump's awful show, but that is nothing new.
Jan 7, 2013 3:18PM
NBC is a political organization. It is in business to get progressive politicians elected. I assume this one will be deleted too.
Jan 7, 2013 3:17PM
No offense to all the good comments here but I have a huge issue with most of them. Why is it, whenever I sign on to MSN, that no one can stay on topic? Most of you sound like a bunch of little kids at a candy store... "But momma look what he got!" Seriously. Just re-read what you just wrote. Most of you are saying "So-n-so did such-n-such and so-n-so did blah blah blah so why can't so-n-so do this-n-that." Please folks... try to come up with an ACTUAL intelligent argument to this blog/section. Not just your "blame game" opinion because all it is doing is wasting everyones time. BTW... it's not that I don't agree with a lot of you, it's simply that I don't agree it's relevant at all.
Jan 7, 2013 3:17PM
Donald Trump, the man is a joke. The easiest way to get rid of him and his kind is to stop watching their programs and boycott any product or servide they sell or make money on in anyway. The best to get to these money grubbing radicals is through their bank accounts.
Jan 7, 2013 3:14PM
all you have to do is not watch the show it will go away.
Jan 7, 2013 3:14PM

Why would Macy's want this fool to represent them?  I'm one of the 680,000 who didn't do business with them over Christmas and never will again!



Jan 7, 2013 3:09PM
As long as there is money to made from something, no amount of indignant protests will change anything.  All we can do is refuse to participate.  But do we, really?  I.e., I think any reasonable person would agree the amount of money paid to the thugs of professional sports is obscene.  But no one quits watching the big game, do they?  Everyone howls about Trump - but someone's watching his show or it wouldn't be on tee-vee.
Jan 7, 2013 3:09PM
To show balance, I will add;   NICE FAKE TAN DONALD. 
Jan 7, 2013 3:08PM

Maybe Rosie should "weigh-in" on all this ?  Oh that's right, Ba Wah Wah is his friend and Rosie??

Rosie is, what she is...


TDOC.....I hope you don't live in the same Region as us...?


I would pay-for-view for Trump getting pummeled by Coulter, And I don't care for either..It'd be fun. 

Jan 7, 2013 3:07PM
NBC is nothing but a shill for progressive politicians.  Anyone with balls should not work for them anyway.
Jan 7, 2013 3:02PM

who cares what nbc thinks...

just another mouth piece for the liberal agenda....

so if nbc dumps him....he will have a home at fox....LOL

Jan 7, 2013 3:00PM

IF you declare bankruptcy...Every few years, even you can appear to be a Rich azzhole using other peoples money...


Right Smeado...A very well used couch...Maybe it should have an opening gig on "The Simpsons."?

Jan 7, 2013 3:00PM
Jan 7, 2013 2:58PM
So, Macy's is willing to use Trump's name to sell things, but don't question Trump's politics?

Sounds fishy to me.........

Jan 7, 2013 2:56PM

What a shame it just doesn't feel like America anymore.  NBC  should be ashamed when it comes to reporting news as NBC and ABC  CBS why doesn't  anyone ask the proper questions anymore???

ambassadors GET KILLED IN SYRIA NO ONE QUESTIONS THE PRESIDENT.   cover-ups HAPPEN THE NEWS IGNORS IT.  And  days after the election  then stuff comes out.  Our leaders let our ambassadors and country men die.   How wrong is that.  Our whole congress and president should be fired and held accountable.   We should be having a balanced budget at all times not a no limit credit card for this idiot of a president that is out to ruin this country and All these stupid liberal's that seem to be letting him have a free rein at idiotisim.  wake up America.

And don't forgert about Hillary taking full responsibility..   Do you believe that. Let us know on the news. 

Jan 7, 2013 2:55PM
NBC can 'shove it'  !!  We citizens buy the products that pay NBC !!  This citizen thinks 'The Donald' is great !!  Would make a good President !!!
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