Citing Late-Night Mess, Gaspin Aims for NBC Reset

By Andrew Gauthier 

Broadcasting & Cable

Coming off of two weeks of trying to resolve NBC’s late-night problems, NBC Universal Television Entertainment Chairman Jeff Gaspin was resolute about the moves he made to restore Jay Leno to 11:35, saying, “I had a set of business circumstances in front of me, and I had to make a decision.”

In an on-stage interview Jan. 26 with B&C Editor-in-Chief Ben Grossman at the National Association of Television Program Executives confab in Las Vegas, Gaspin added, “Our affiliates were hurting. The fall off in the late local news ratings was greater than we would have liked. We really wanted to keep both of them, so I came up with the idea of moving [Tonight Show host] Conan [O’Brien] back a half an hour. We took a reasonable shot at keeping both of them in the late-night line-up and it didn’t work.”


Asked whether he expects to be competing against O’Brien come fall, when many think he’ll end up on Fox, Gaspin said: “I really don’t know, but my gut is, yes.”

Gaspin admits that NBC has quite a way to go to reclaim its former glory, but he seems prepared to do the work. More…