Desperate media executives

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NBC digs deep to find the laughter.

It's been a humbling year for the proud Peacock. But considering how the ratings-challenged network's been dragged through the mud, NBC Universal's holiday media cocktail reception was a rather jovial affair.

Setting the tone was the network's newest funnyman, NBC Universal's Chairman Bob Wright. He welcomed reporters by explaining that he now understands how his relationship with the press works: network execs talk about something, the press catches wind and reports it and NBC is rarely better off for it. In fact, he said, he was recently quoted saying NBC was "a desperate network."

Of course, that was not true, he said-what really came out of his mouth, had you heard the whole quote, was "we're a very desperate network."

And he kept `em coming. "2005's been a good year," he said. "A lot of things have clicked. Unfortunately, prime time wasn't one of them." Later, he thanked the media for coming and said NBC wanted them to leave with a gift. "I know you're not allowed to accept anything of value," he said, "so we're going to offer you the complete first season of `Father of the Pride' on DVD."

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