What Do Eric Schmidt And Oprah Have In Common?

Perhaps we should start calling him “Dr. Eric.” The New York Post is reporting that Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt is shopping the idea of his own talk show to various outlets:

A source told us, “Eric wants to be a talk-show host. He’s been working with ["Parker Spitzer" executive producer Liza McGuirk] to develop a show, but he has not yet been picked up by any network.”

Apparently there’s even a “pilot” that has been taped and that the Post characterizes, based on hearsay, as unsuccessful (“a disaster”).

Increasingly it doesn’t appear that Schmidt will be full-time at Google for much longer. Though he will continue to represent the company and perform a range of external facing duties, he wont have any day-to-day responsibility.

With a net worth of more than $5 billion, according to multiple sources, he certainly doesn’t need to work again. But a talk show might be a way for Schmidt to do something interesting and remain visible. In a way it seems like a logical step.

Keith Olbermann just left his popular show Countdown on MSNBC; however the level-headed Schmidt couldn’t really step in for the hyperbolic host on the left-leaning network. Schmidt is more pensive, less bombastic.

Indeed Schmidt’s personal style may be too restrained, too cautious for the role. Most talk shows these days are built around firebrands or those, like Oprah, who exude sensitivity and empathy. Schmidt doesn’t fit the Oprah model either. I don’t see him giving hugs to his guests.

If Schmidt can’t land a gig as a talk show host there’s always public office. His demeanor and personal style may be better suited to politics in the end anyway. If so he would do well to study the ill-fated campaigns of two former tech CEOs Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina. Both thought their business backgrounds and acumen would appeal to voters. Not so.

If the talk show doesn’t happen and Schmidt gets really desperate for a TV gig . . .  I suppose there’s always DWTS.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Google: Business Issues | Google: Employees

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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