Friday, January 22, 2010

Conan, NBC Sign $45 million Dollar Exit Deal With $12 Million To Go To Staff

NBC Universal has announced the details of Conan O’Brien's , exit from “The Tonight Show”. Conan's last "Tonight" will air on Friday, Jan. 22, 2010, ending a seven month run. Jay Leno, who began hosting a 10 p.m. show on NBC in September, will return to his former duties as host of "The Tonight Show".

NBC and O'Brien agreed on a $45 million deal, with Conan receiving $33 million dollars in return for a promise to stay off the broadcast TV airwaves for eight months. The $12 million dollar balance will go towards severance packages for Conan's "Tonight Show" staff. A big thank you to Conan is in order for holding out until NBC agreed to take care of his crew.

On March 1, 2010, Jay Leno will return to hosting "The Tonight Show" following NBC's Winter Olympics coverage. “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” will continue in the 12:35-1:35 a.m. slot

Jeff Gaspin, Chairman, NBC Universal Television Entertainment said: “We’re pleased that Jay is returning to host the franchise that he helmed brilliantly and successfully for many years. He is an enormous talent, a consummate professional and one of the hardest-working performers on television.”

Conan leaves NBC with his head up and we'll remember that he took care of his people when the chips were down. I'm sure Conan will land on his feet, and with a $33 million dollar severance, we won't have to through him a benefit any time soon. - BD

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