Conan blasts NBC over Tonight Show move

Host says he won't "participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction"

NBC told Conan O’Brien he could move to 12:05, take it or leave it—and he’s leaving it. In a statement released today, the Tonight Show host says he will not agree to NBC’s plan to move The Tonight Show a half-hour later to make room for Jay Leno at 11:35. In his statement, O’Brien blasts NBC’s decision to yank him out of Johnny Carson’s slot after only seven months on the job, as well as the terrible lead-in provided by Leno’s failed 10 o’clock show: “It was my mistaken belief that, like my predecessor, I would have the benefit of some time and, just as important, some degree of ratings support from the prime-time schedule.” O’Brien says that he currently has no definite offer from another network and his next move is not decided yet, but he won’t continue on The Tonight Show in its new incarnation: “We are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show,” he says, “but I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction.”

New York Times

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