NBC is close to a nearly $40 million agreement with Conan O’Brien to vacate the “Tonight Show.” According to a report from The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday morning, a deal could be signed very soon that would pave the way for O’Brien to land another late-night show within a year.
O’Brien, who moved his entire staff to Los Angeles to work on “Tonight,” has made his frustration with NBC clear in a continued string of barbs on his show. The Wall Street Journal reports that part of the severance agreement with NBC bars O’Brien from continuing a critical assault on his soon-to-be-former employer.
While details are still being finalized, it appears that the deal will pay O’Brien $32.5 million with $7.5 million to be shared among his “Tonight” employees.
With O’Brien nearing an exit, Jay Leno stepped in and confirmed that he will be returning to helm the “Tonight Show.” On Monday, Leno offered his side of the story on his show. “It looks like we might be back at 11:30,” he said, adding, “through all of this, Conan O’Brien has been a gentleman. He’s a good guy. I have no animosity towards him.” (Video here)