3/4/2013 8:13 PM ET|
Jay Leno's job appears safe -- for now
Comcast's NBC categorically denies a report that the talk-show host is on the way out.
"We are categorically denying the the reports on a plan for a late-night transition," writes Rebecca Marks, NBC's executive vice president for entertainment publicity, in an email to MSN Money.
Leno, who first took over "The Tonight Show" after Johnny Carson's retirement in 1992, and everyone else at NBC has good reason to be nervous. As my colleague Aimee Picchi recently noted, the network came in fifth in the recent sweeps period, when broadcasters showcase their best programs in the hopes of attracting the biggest audience. Even Spanish-language network Univision did better.
"NBC has certainly had happier times," said Robert Thompson, director of Syracuse University's Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture, in an interview.
Leno continues to hold his own in the ratings. During the week of Feb. 18-22, "The Tonight Show" was No. 1 with viewers, including those in the 18- to 49-year-old demographic that advertisers love, according to NBC. Leno has delivered bigger 18-to-49 and total audiences than CBS' (CBS) "The Late Show With David Letterman" for 14 straight weeks. He has bested ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" for six out of seven weeks in the target demo and for seven straight weeks in total viewers.
The problem that NBC has is over the long term. The average viewer of late-night shows on the broadcast networks is his or her 50s and is getting older. Compared with cable shows hosted by Conan O'Brien, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, whose audiences are in their 30s and 40s, these viewers are ancient.
For advertisers, younger audiences aren't everything, but they are pretty close. That's where Kimmel, 45, is seen having an edge over more experienced rivals such as 65-year-old Letterman and 62-year-old Leno, which probably worries NBC and gives ABC parent Walt Disney (DIS)cause for optimism.
The NBC late night comedy lineup has had its fair share of drama in recent years. NBC announced in 2004 that Conan O'Brien would succeed Jay Leno as the host of "The Tonight Show" in 2009 only to reverse course the next year and gave the square-jawed comedian his old job back. O'Brien left the network and now hosts a show on TBS.
--Jonathan Berr does not own shares of the listed shares. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 trades higher by 0.2%.
Just reported, existing home sales hit an annualized rate of 5.15 million units in July, while the Briefing.com consensus expected a reading of 5.00 million. The pace for July was up from the prior month's revised rate of 5.03 million units (from 5.04 million).
The Philadelphia Fed Survey for August jumped to 28.0 from 23.9. Economists polled by Briefing.com had expected that the Survey would slip to 15.5.
The ... More
More Market News
Do it once a year. This allows the best-performing asset classes to take off and run.
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'