An O’Brien Jump to Fox Has Hurdles

By Andrew Gauthier 

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The Wall Street Journal

Conan O’Brien‘s exit from NBC may allow the Fox network to jump back into late-night television. But first Fox has to sell the idea to its corporate brass and to the managers of the 205 Fox stations, some of whom have reservations.

Fox has been mulling a late-night talk show with Mr. O’Brien, who is likely to host his last episode of “The Tonight Show” on Friday after a dispute with NBC over plans to push back the show’s air time by half an hour. Fox has said it won’t broach the subject in earnest until Mr. O’Brien leaves NBC, which is finalizing the terms of the comedian’s departure.

Mr. O’Brien wouldn’t be permitted to host another TV show until September at the earliest, according to people familiar with the matter, as part of his agreement to exit the General Electric Co. network with a payout of more than $40 million for him and his staff.

The decision over a late-night show is important to the Fox broadcast network More…