I’m very tardy following up on this, but figured better late than never.

In almost any other industry, taking note of a quote like this would be silly. Of course a business wouldn’t try something without reasonable confidence of profit. But in the entertainment business saying it in public is unusual, almost heretical. Of course, it’s likely public negotiating by Murdoch as well.

News Corp. Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch said it’s up to Fox Broadcasting to make a case that a late-night show hosted by Conan O’Brien can make money.

“We’re giving it a lot of thought and a lot of examination,” Murdoch said when asked during a conference call on the company’s second quarter earnings about the prospect of Fox doing a deal with O’Brien to host a late-night show for the network. O’Brien walked away from his job as host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show” last month after the network told him it wanted to move the show from 11:35 p.m. to after midnight to make room for Jay Leno’s return to late night from prime time.

Murdoch said the programmers at Fox Broadcasting — Peter Rice and Kevin Reilly need to “show us we can do it and be fairly confident of making a profit.” Murdoch’s remarks echoed those that News Corp. Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey and Fox Television Stations boss Roger Ailes made to Company Town last month about the prospects of O’Brien being signed to a deal.

via Los Angeles Times.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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