Universal's Rough Patch

It’s not a good sign when movie executives are more talked about than their movies. That’s the case with Universal Pictures chairmen Marc Shmuger and David Linde, who have recently fallen under fire after a dismal season (Fast & Furious was the studio’s only hit of the year.) Their biggest problem, the Los Angeles Times reports, is that they’ve failed to connect with audiences, and the execs are currently being pressured for plans to change. They’re feeling the heat from their parent companies, NBC Universal and General Electric Co., as NBC chief Jeff Zucker has just dispatched his chief financial officer to scour the company’s process for picking and producing movies. And there are rumors that heads might roll: the LA Times writes that an “executive overhaul could soon unseat” Shmuger and Linde, and that Universal chief Ron Meyer knows he’s also accountable. Said Meyer: “ I share a great deal of responsibility, and we are all in this together.” He continued,” We’ve got a bad case of the flu, but by no means is this terminal.”