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 © 2013 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.
The good news: Bad weather means fewer drivers on the road, and they're going slower than usual. The bad news: It's still dangerous.
- 8 questions to ask before Mom and Dad move in
- High deductibles fuel new worries of Obamacare sticker shock
- How to use your credit card to donate to charity
- Try this instead of raising the minimum wage
- People left $500,000 in coins at airports last year
- How your driving can affect your credit
- Obamacare projected to cost hundreds of billions less
- November jobs report: Winners and losers
- Student loan debt climbs for 5th year in a row
[BRIEFING.COM] There wasn't a lot of excitement in the stock market today and there is nothing wrong with that. After rallying in broad-based fashion on Friday, the major indices stood their ground (for the most part) amid a lack of conviction from buyers and sellers alike.
Today wasn't a case so much of the stock market going up as it was a case of some influential stocks going up to keep the major indices on a winning path. In fact, decliners were just about even with ... More
More Market News
The photo-sharing site only has 10 employees, and it may be up for grabs.