I love the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. I love Kevin Eubanks and the Tonight Show Band. Come the first week in September, they move to 10pm ET/9pm ct as Conan O’Brien (with Max and the Max Weinberg 7) take over the Tonight Show. But if you live in Boston, you may not be seeing Jay:
“”WHDH’s move is a flagrant violation of the terms of their contract with NBC,” said John Eck, president of NBC Television Network. “If they persist, we will strip WHDH of its NBC affiliation. We have a number of other strong options in the Boston market, including using our existing broadcast license to launch an NBC-owned and operated station.”
The decision to program local news instead of Leno, the longtime host of “The Tonight Show” who grew up in Andover, follows the runaway success of the 10 p.m. newscast on rival WFXT-TV Channel 25, Boston’s Fox outlet. WFXT’s newscast averaged 210,600 total viewers in the March ratings sweeps, while the 10 p.m. newscast on WHDH sister station WLVI-TV Channel 56 drew 43,800 total viewers. On some nights, WFXT’s newscast beats network shows in the city, with help from lead-ins such as “American Idol” and “House.””
Ugh. Please. Jay Leno is a big star. They are working their butts off (and will be even more to get this show 100% ready for the 10pm timeslot to ensure that viewer loss is at a mininmum and that they will be a good lead-in to local news. The article goes on to say:
“Ed Ansin, owner of WHDH and WLVI, believes a local newscast at 10 p.m., which he plans to simulcast on both stations, will draw better ratings than Leno.
“We feel we have a real opportunity with running the news at 10 p.m. We don’t think the Leno show is going to be effective in prime time,” Ansin said yesterday. “It will be detrimental to our 11 o’clock [newscast]. It will be very adverse to our finances.””
NBC: fine them, admonish them, threaten them, do whatever it takes. The whole country should be able to see Jay and Kevin, and that includes Boston.
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