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NBC: Leno’s Return is Right Move

NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker says Jay Leno's return to late-night television is the right financial move.
NBC is ending its prime-time The Jay Leno Show because of low ratings and affiliate station complaints. An exit deal with Conan O'Brien, which is expected this week, would clear the way for Leno to reclaim the slot occupied by The Tonight Show, which he hosted for 17 years.

In an interview Tuesday in The Wall Street Journal, Zucker says it isn't surprising that O'Brien is disappointed that NBC wanted to move his show to a later time slot. But Zucker says it was surprising and disappointing "how nasty it turned."

Zucker says the network wanted to keep O'Brien. But he says NBC is "going to be fine, even paying Conan to go away."

NBC is owned by General Electric Co.

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