Team Conan Or Team Leno?

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I used to watch The Tonight Show with Jay Leno from time to time.  I watched Conan O’Brien’s show very occasionally.  There were a couple reasons for not watching it. I didn’t like his humor or his look.

A lot of my family and friends like Conan over Jay, but for me I would chose Jay Leno over Conan O’Brien any day.  For a long time I thought that Conan’s market was high school kids because that seemed to be the type of humor he was into.

Since the announcement in 2004 were Jay said Conan was going to take over the show in 2009, I didn’t watch many episodes of either show.  After the transition, I probably only watched 3 episodes of Jay’s Prime Time show and 0 of The Tonight Show.

Apparently both shows were losing money since the change.  Many of the affiliate stations were threatening to drop Jay’s show because they were losing money.  Conan’s show was reportedly losing over $3 million.

There have been several shows that I would watch that have been cancelled after one season or even half a season.   If the show isn’t brining in the ratings it gets cancelled.  The way it is cancelled really determines how everyone feels about what is happening and in this case it doesn’t seem like NBC is handling things very professional.

Here is Jay Leno’s version of what is happening.

Here is the letter Conan released about what has been happening:

People of Earth:
In the last few days, I’ve been getting a lot of sympathy calls, and I want to start by making it clear that no one should waste a second feeling sorry for me. For 17 years, I’ve been getting paid to do what I love most and, in a world with real problems, I’ve been absurdly lucky. That said, I’ve been suddenly put in a very public predicament and my bosses are demanding an immediate decision.

Six years ago, I signed a contract with NBC to take over The Tonight Show in June of 2009. Like a lot of us, I grew up watching Johnny Carson every night and the chance to one day sit in that chair has meant everything to me. I worked long and hard to get that opportunity, passed up far more lucrative offers, and since 2004 I have spent literally hundreds of hours thinking of ways to extend the franchise long into the future. It was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, I would have the benefit of some time and, just as important, some degree of ratings support from the prime-time schedule. Building a lasting
audience at 11:30 is impossible without both.

But sadly, we were never given that chance. After only seven months, with my Tonight Show in its infancy, NBC has decided to react to their terrible difficulties in prime-time by making a change in their long-established late night schedule. Last Thursday, NBC executives told me they intended to move the Tonight Show to 12:05 to accommodate the Jay Leno Show at 11:35. For 60 years the Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying the Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting. The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn’t the Tonight Show. Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the Late Night show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot.
That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.

So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it. My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn’t matter. But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.

There has been speculation about my going to another network but, to set the record straight, I currently have no other offer and honestly have no idea what happens next. My hope is that NBC and I can resolve this quickly so that my staff, crew, and I can do a show we can be proud of, for a company that values our work.

Have a great day and, for the record, I am truly sorry about my hair; it’s always been that way.


Both of them are suffering from the problem. Jay Leno is being attacked and accused of deciding he wanted The Tonight Show back and that is the reason for all of this mess.

Conan is being portrayed and a spoiled child not getting his way.  He is going to lose The Tonight Show, but he apparently will receive $32.5 million dollars  and his staff will also receive a severance package from NBC, but in return he can’t host another show until September.  I think the money should hold him over until then.

As far as which team, I am neither and I wish both of them the best of luck.


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