TV Guide’s Stephen Battaglio, and other Hollywood press types, cornered ABC’s entertainment chief Stephen McPherson today after his TCA appearance. The press corps wanted to know if ABC had plans for Jay Leno, should he leave NBC when Conan O’Brien takes over The Tonight Show next year. And if he does jump to ABC, what does that mean for Nightline.
Of course, all of these scenarios mean dislodging ABC’s current late night occupant Nightline. The news division is clearly hearing the drumbeats about late night changes. The PR department of ABC News has been touting Nightline’s recent strong ratings performance against The Late Show with David Letterman.
McPherson dodged a question about the future of Nightline in light of all the speculation about more late night talk and comedy on ABC. “I have no idea because Nightline doesn’t report to me,” he said.