Leno and Conan. Man. What a cluster%$#@. If a network executive ever wanted to look completely and utterly useless, this is it. I have never seen anything like this in fifteen years. Not even close. Just when you thought NBC had hit rock bottom in hiring, then firing, Ben Silverman--you realize they still have a ways to go. A long ways to go.
I am certain that being a CEO of a media company like NBC/Universal is not an easy task. But, Jeff Zucker has failed to even maintain the success he inherited. He was the Executive Producer of the Today Show, did an excellent job there, but was never fit to catapult from EP of a morning show to the head of NBC. Everyone knew it was a bad hire at the time, and no one has been willing to admit it.
Zucker might be a great leader, who knows, but NBC simply has not improved under his watch. This Conan-Leno debacle proves that he just cannot make prudent programming decisions.
This has been like a microcosm of the Time Warner-AOL deal. A bad idea to begin with that just kept getting worse, and worse, and worse.
The best thing for NBC to do (more free advice from angry writer--you're welcome) is to walk over the paint. Get rid of Zucker, and give Leno his gold watch, and tell him thank you for his service. If Conan and Jimmy Fallon can't get it done for you, too bad. You made your bed, lay in it.
Either that, or put Leno back on the Tonight Show, give Conan a buyout, and let him go to Fox. After all of this, the guy deserves a portion of his contract.
There's still a way to fix this and do right--but, I'm guessing NBC will screw it up. Again.