Wow. Someone is actually on Team Jay!
In an interview with The New York Times, NBC executive Dick Ebersol referred to Conan O'Brien's run on The Tonight Show as an "astounding failure" and said:
"I like Conan enormously personally. He was just stubborn about not being willing to broaden the appeal of his show."
Fair enough. But might a problem also have been related to NBC's unfair, ridiculous decision to air The Jay Leno Show at 10 p.m. every night? Also based in Los Angeles, that program siphoned A-listers from The Tonight Show because it aired first.
Ebersol said he met with Conan three weeks prior to his move to 11:35 p.m. and urged him to alter his approach in order to reach more viewers, but the host refused. O'Brien's reps confirm that a meeting took place between the sides.
As for the shots David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel and company are taking at Jay Leno?
"[It's] chicken-hearted and gutless to blame a guy you couldn't beat in the ratings," Ebersol told the newspaper. "They're just striking out at Jay. It seems like professional jealousy."
And that seems like complete and utter BS from a guy that's in charge of a dying network and desperate to defend his job.