“First of all, let me say that to know Nina Tassler is to love her. There is no greater executive or creative force in the TV business, and more importantly she is a great friend to so many. The fact that she’s stepping out of CBS today is not only their loss but a loss for anyone who watches television.
“Many of us teasingly make fun of her excitable nature — when she really likes something, in her own words she ‘loves, loves, loves’ it. A good idea, a great writer, a great script, you name it. Love, love, love! Well, I know many people in this business who love, love, love her and I’m one of them!
“I loved her ever since I first met her in the early 90s when she was working for David Janollari and Les at Warner Bros. and we were all wide-eyed young executives trying to figure out how to make good shows. She and I connected on so many levels, and maybe at the heart of it was the fact that she is first and foremost a creative person and loves the creative process. She also comes from the theater and that goes right to my heart too.
“We had the privilege to work on many projects together over many years, but it’s her friendship that means the most to me. The shows come and go but rarely do the relationships that start in business turn out to go much deeper. And even now that we’re technically competitors, the friendship still comes first. We get together and laugh uproariously about everything (that’s her best quality) but mostly about the about the absurdity of the business. And maybe that’s a little bit of what motivated her to make her exit still at the top of her game, the wonderful absurdity of it all.
“I have always been in awe of her good taste, her good nature, and most of all her good heart. Ever since I left Showtime, I’ve tried to figure out ways to lure her to NBC (surprise, Les!), but her loyalty to her colleagues and the greatest mentor you can probably have in this business was always her priority. Well, her first priority is her family — anyone who knows her will tell you that — and I still remember the day she told me she was pregnant with Alice how overjoyed she was about it all. Jerry and her kids will always be the apple of her eye.
“I know this sounds like a eulogy or a lifetime achievement award, but it’s just meant to be a tribute to a great friend and a great lady. I know there are many chapters ahead for all of her unbounding creativity and I just hope some of it can be with me. There’s no greater joy when you’re in the glow of that creative excitement or that big smile or that even bigger laugh.
“Nina, we all LOVE, LOVE, LOVE you and wish you the best!”