While some station groups have taken a let's-not-jump-to-conclusions approach to NBC's Jay Leno gamble, a top executive at Gray Television was far less circumspect Monday. Saying the new 10 p.m. show is hurting late news ratings, he suggested that NBC rethink its options.
"The Leno experiment is not working so far," said Bob Prather, Gray's president-COO. "I'm sure they'll stick with it longer than they need to ... their ego won't let them probably get rid of it soon enough."
Prather did say he had no specifics on any revenue impact the show may be having at Gray's 10 NBC stations, but that it has dragged down late-news ratings and "in the long run it could hurt us" significantly.
He said Gray is monitoring the situation and will make its feelings known to NBC.
I'd say they just made their feelings known, in exactly the way they intended.
Whether it's the case or not, NBC affiliates will likely take the free pass of "Jay Leno ate my homework" as they announce their earnings this fall.