Affiliates Like Late-Night Leno
GMs hopeful a shakeup would jumpstart local news
By Michael Malone -- Broadcasting & Cable, 1/8/2010 1:00:51 PM
"I'm very excited-it's the best outcome we could've had," says WLBT Jackson VP/General Manager Dan Modisett. "I don't think this was working like any of us had hoped."
NBC affiliates remain fiercely loyal to Leno and were quick to say the rookie program's struggles don't reflect the funnyman's work ethic or comedic chops. "This isn't about Jay's popularity," says WJAR Providence VP/General Manager Lisa Churchville. "This is about having that kind of show at 10 p.m."
Some affiliate managers were reluctant to discuss the rumored changes, which may see Leno on for a half hour at 11:35, followed by an hour hosted by Conan O'Brien at 12:05, as they had not heard from the network. But most are hopeful Jay-and Conan-sticks with NBC, and most, if not all, desperately want to see a change in terms of the lead-in they're getting to their lucrative late news. Charleston-Huntington (WV) news power WSAZ, for one, is getting half the lead-in it got a year ago. "Even strong stations like ours are getting battered," says VP/General Manager Don Ray. "So this is terrific news."
NBC reportedly met with Leno and O'Brien to discuss possible outcomes yesterday. The NBC affiliates board, headed by Michael Fiorile, will meet with the network in New York Jan. 21 to discuss the Leno dilemma. The moves and their timing should become clearer after the meeting.
Of course, if the network pushes Leno out of prime, there remains the challenge of coming up with catchy programming at 10. Says one Midwestern NBC affiliate: "We're very concerned about what goes into that time period--it has a direct impact on the revenue we get from late news. I don't know how many more books we can go through and still expect to win [local news races]."
The affiliates largely applaud the network for taking action and appearing to address an issue they felt direly needed addressing. "It looks like the best of all worlds," says Modisett. "We keep the three late-night talents on NBC, and NBC takes a few swings at the fence [in primetime]."
Does anyone on blogs know how to spell? "Loser" is spelled this way, not "LOOSER." Sheesh...
Leno should leave, plain and simple. He agreed to the terms, did not produce the necessary results, has been and will continue to be paid rather handsomely and now is making it very difficult for Conan to build HIS audience.
To me this is a no brainer. If Leno supplants Conan it will be a public relations nightmare for both he and NBC. This is why Letterman went to CBS and so graciously demonstrated his class because he did not want to be seen as the guy who stole the "Tonight" show away from Jay much like Jay will be doing with Conan. I for one will never watch Leno again if he does this.
Jim Laforte - 1/11/2010 9:17:41 PM EST
Good Idea to move Jay to USA or MSNBC at 11pm. It does not matter what NBC programs are at 10pm. I will still watch the WKBN CBS for my local news.
Anthony Belle - 1/9/2010 12:33:00 PM EST
I knew something like this was going to happen. NBC tried to keep Jay Leno and keep Conan O'Brian happy making a dumb promiss. SouthLand was supposed to premirer it's second full season, but was cancelled after all the Promos shown on NBC. It was an NBC show "That caught my attention" and watched the mid season shows. I can't wait until it's shown on TBS or TNT? I still think it could go on HBO or Showtime and be real. SouthLand could have grown into something ratings wise. Because right now, I hardly watch anything on NBC Primetime.
Carroll E. Gant, JR - 1/9/2010 1:32:31 AM EST
This can work two ways. One, Jay gets back The Tonight show with a full hour, from his current Jay Leno Show set that would get modified. And Conan O' Brien goes back to Late Night for a full hour also, from his current Tonight Show set with modifications also. Jimmy Fallon either stays where he is, with a new name like Last Call with Jimmy Fallon or The Jimmy Fallon Show after Conan for either an hour or a half-hour. Two, move The Jay Leno show to USA, where it airs at 11p for a full hour, or CNBC where it airs at 10p for a full hour. It could be renamed Jay Leno Live, with a hard monologue, better guests, and saying good-bye to the laid-back format. And NBC Late Night would stay as is, focusing on aggressively building a wider audience.
Daniel Quintanilla - 1/8/2010 11:50:52 PM EST
NBC was concern about there local stations, so it was neccessary to switch it back over. NBC will have to run reruns at 10 each and every night. NBC may need to bring the Bionic Woman back, The Bring a duo, The new six million dollar man, Knight Rider, and maybe create the new squad 51-Emergency one-2010. Money and tv ads hard to come by.
The other bad news, is broadcasters are loosing money and the blame is on dvr units, dvd recorders, and vhs recorders. Be able to record programs. FOX and CBS would be struggling like ABC.
RVOWNER - 1/8/2010 10:05:26 PM EST
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