Jeff Zucker Grills Nancy Pelosi on losing House job

Democrat snaps back at Women at NBCU Power of the Purse that she "expects to be Speaker in five weeks."

NEW YORK -- Outgoing NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker tried his hand at being an interviewer Tuesday morning, grilling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the latest Women at NBCU Power of the Purse breakfast here.

But he shrugged off suggestions that he was auditioning for a possible new career after he announced Friday that he will leave his post once the acquisition of a majority stake in NBC Universal by cable giant Comcast closes. Comcast COO Steve Burke will then take the CEO reins at NBC Universal.

"It was a fun day and a great cause, and I was happy to do it," Zucker simply told The Hollywood Reporter after the Tuesday morning on-stage interview with Pelosi when asked if he could see himself as a talk show host.

Zucker had previously told THR that he is interested in news, politics, sports and various other field.

Zucker and Pelosi on Tuesday lauded Lauren Zalaznick, president of NBC Universal Women & Lifestyle Entertainment networks. Her future role under the Comcast-controlled NBC Universal - along with that of all other major company executives - has been the subject of industry chatter and debate as of late. Comcast has said that it won't announce the future management structure and titles for NBC Universal until the merger closes.

Zucker on stage congratulated Zalaznick on her leadership that has made Women at NBCU, which focuses on targeting women in sales and marketing, a key initiative at the entertainment company, he said. And Pelosi said she has been a fan of Zalaznick's and her work "for a long time."

In an ironic twist, Zucker in his interview with Pelosi Tuesday mentioned that she may be out of her speaker job after the mid-term elections in several weeks and asked her how close she expects the outcome to be. "I expect to be Speaker of the House in five weeks," she replied.

At one point, Pelosi turned the table on Zucker when he asked her how important fashion and looking good is for a woman in her position. Pelosi simply returned the question to laughs from the crowd before quipping that men never get such questions.

In other Women at NBCU news, the group on Tuesday announced eight new members of its advisory board. They include NBC Universal executive and Oxygen co-founder Lisa Gersh, WME Entertainment's Suzanne Gluck, "Top Chef's" Gail Simmons and Martin Chase Productions CEO Debra Martin Chase.
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