So long, Conan! Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.
That seems to be how NBC feels about the situation at this point. Both NBCU chief Jeff Zucker and TV entertainment chairman Jeff Gaspin are taking the party line that everything will soon blow over. At least as far as late night goes, I agree.
But I wonder if the bloom is off the rose for Gaspin, once hailed by the TV digerati and twitterati as NBC’s savior. He has a reputation for being good with creative folks, but his suggestion to move Conan to 12:05am rubbed a few of them the wrong way.
But with both Leno and Conan under contract, only an unreasonable person would blame Gaspin for at least trying to come up with a solution that would keep both around.
With reports that Jay’s contract buyout was nearly four times that of Conan’s are true, once Conan said “no” to 12:05a, the outcome was inevitable. And the NBC stance is straight out of The Godfather, “It’s not personal, it’s business.”
THR: You guys raised Conan. Now his profile’s gone up, his ratings are up, you’ve given him a bunch of money, and now he’s going into the marketplace. What are your feelings about what’s transpired here?
Gaspin That is just the cost of doing business in television and film. This is one of the Shakespearean story lines that happen over and over in television.