NBC’s Leno Memo to Affiliates

By Chris Ariens 

Last week when Jay Leno announced he was heading to prime time, he talked about how NBC had done research on behalf of the idea. TVNewser has obtained some of that research. It was sent to NBC affiliates to, as one NBC exec puts it, “arm your staffs with over the next nine months and beyond.”

The series of talking points explains how this move is the reinvention of prime time; how Leno is more “DVR-proof than scripted at 10pm ET;” and how the move does not “reduce NBC’s commitment to scripted programs.”

What it does not point out is how Leno would benefit the late local newscasts. Some NBC affiliate managers, including Belo EVP Peter Diaz spoke with Broadcasting & Cable’s Michael Malone after an affiliates meeting last week. “My [immediate] reaction is that no one’s saying Leno will be a great program-everyone’s saying how much expense NBC has saved. We have a wait-and-see attitude, but I’m certainly concerned about late news.” Belo owns four NBC affiliates.


Related: Leno’s Move Hints at Future of Prime-Time TV