Source: NBC-Conan O'Brien Deal Imminent
O'Brien expected to leave 'The Tonight Show'
By Marisa Guthrie -- Broadcasting & Cable, 1/18/2010 12:20:19 PM
A deal between Conan O'Brien and NBC is imminent, according to network sources. With both sides working through the weekend to hammer out an exit deal for the Tonight Show host, NBC will have a deal to announce Jan. 19 (Tuesday).
It is likely to give O'Brien a pay-out in the range of $30-40 million as well severance packages for his staff, many of whom relocated to Los Angeles from New York.
The deal is also expected to release O'Brien from the lengthy non-compete clause in his original contract that could have kept him from appearing on a rival network for two years.
A settlement would bring to a close a week of rancorous negotiations and public sniping that began when O'Brien rejected NBC's offer to move The Tonight Show to 12:05 a.m. after a half hour Jay Leno Show.
The final 10 p.m. Jay Leno Show is scheduled for Feb. 11, the night before the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver Wither Olympics. O'Brien is expected to end his seven-months on Tonight this Friday (Jan. 22).
I expect at lot of fallout over this...the fallout being guest refusing to be booked on Leno's "Tonight Show" once he is reinstated. A lot of celebs have already taken sides in this issue--many of whom have the same booking agent or representative. NBC/Zucker really screwed the pooch on this one. Leno brought to prime-time nothing more than a rehashed 10pm version of his previous show, damaging affils/the network/and yes his own credibility to access an audience. Conan faced the same issue--and if he had toned it down a bit instead of bringing "Late Night" to 11:30pm might have worked.
I am 53 years old...I still get a kick out of the humor that Conan brings, as well as Craig Ferguson. So go and scew me Mr. Network Executive. Oh wait--I'm not scewable since I'm over 49!!
Joe Reaves - 1/18/2010 2:18:50 PM EST
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