Conan Leaving NBC

The NBC-Leno-Conan war is close to ending, according to a knowledgeable source. According to the outlines of a settlement, Conan O'Brien will leave NBC and the network will make an as-yet unspecified payment. The comedian will be free to appear elsewhere on television well before his contract expires, despite earlier threats from NBC that it would prevent him from working anywhere else.

There is still opportunity for the negotiation to fall apart, but clearly, at this point it is in NBC's interest to put an end to this dismal episode.


It remains unclear where O'Brien might go next. The most obvious place is Fox, but top executives at the company have been scrupulous about avoiding any appearance that they tried to lure O'Brien there while his relationship with NBC remained unresolved. Should Fox go forward with a late-night show with O'Brien now, it will take months before he would be ready to go on the air.
NBC truly screwed the pooch on this one. If the deal is true and Conan leaves (and possibly heads to Fox), NBC's reputation will be damaged and they will have to contend with another late-night host battling them for ratings.

As I've said before, I'm on Team Coco. Where are you?