NBC gives Conan O'Brien $45 million to go away
That NBC deal to get Conan O'Brien off The Tonight Show has gone from rumor to fact, with the Wall Street Journal confirming around 1 a.m. Thursday that a deal has been reached, to the tune of $45 million. Gee, how much would he have made had he stayed?
Variety says O'Brien is getting about $33 millionand his staff will score $12 million in severance, which is awful nice, considering everyone moved from New York to L.A. to be on the show for a grand total of seven months. NBC spokesperson Allison Golust confirmed the report to the AP.
"NBC and Conan O'Brien have reached a resolution of the issues surrounding O'Brien's contract to host The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, " NBC and O'Brien said in a joint statement. (Jay Leno will be back on March 1, if you're wondering.)
"Under terms of an agreement that was signed earlier today, NBC and O'Brien will settle their contractual obligations and the network will release O'Brien from his contract, freeing him to pursue other opportunities after September 1, 2010."
Part of that deal likely contains a non-disparagement clause in addition to keeping Conan off the air for a few month.
"In the end, Conan was appreciative of the steps NBC made to take care of his staff and crew, and decided to supplement the severance they were getting out of his own pocket," O'Brien's manager, Gavin Polone, has said about the deal. "Now he just wants to get back on the air as quickly as possible."
That means we'll get ready to see him on Fox in the fall. Maybe he'll keep his skill sharp with a standup tour!
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