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September 1, 2014

NBC Exec Blames Conan Ratings as Late Night War Rages On

by Bryan Enk, posted Jan 15th 2010 11:05AM
The late-night war just got dirtier thanks to NBC exec Dick Ebersol.

According to the NY Times, Ebersol, chairman of NBC Universal Sports, claims that the reason for Jay Leno's rumored return to late-night is a simple one: disappointing ratings for 'The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien.'

Regarding the attacks on Leno made by O'Brien and CBS's David Letterman on their respective shows, Ebersol says it was "chicken-hearted and gutless to blame a guy you couldn't beat in the ratings," and "what this is really all about is an astounding failure by Conan."The late-night war just got dirtier thanks to NBC exec Dick Ebersol.

According to the NY Times, Ebersol, chairman of NBC Universal Sports, claims that the reason for Jay Leno's rumored return to late-night is a simple one: disappointing ratings for 'The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien.'

Regarding the attacks on Leno made by O'Brien and CBS's David Letterman on their respective shows, Ebersol says it was "chicken-hearted and gutless to blame a guy you couldn't beat in the ratings," and "what this is really all about is an astounding failure by Conan."

Dick Ebersol is a veteran at NBC with a longstanding relationship with the network's chief executive, Jeff Zucker. He also has a long history with NBC's late-night programming, having been a creator of 'Saturday Night Live' and serving as a consultant in the network's late-night programming over the years.

Ebersol goes on to criticize Conan O'Brien for his refusal to adjust his persona and approach from 'Late Night' to 'The Tonight Show.' "He was just stubborn about not being willing to broaden the appeal of his show."

Meanwhile, Conan O'Brien's ratings on 'The Tonight Show' have increased considerably since the whole controversy began,
scoring a 3.0 on Wednesday night, up from a recent 2.2 average.

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