In a shocker of an announcement that pretty much spelled the end of Conan O'Brien's long and truly remarkable career at NBC, he sent out a statement earlier saying that he
will not assume the 12:05 show that NBC has offered.
 
  It's now officially very ugly.
 
  Yesterday, it was merely ugly.
 
  Honestly, this not brinkmanship by Co; one can reasonably assume that no further offers are forthcoming from the network, and that the 12:05 was essentially the final
offer, and the only offer.
 
  What's so tricky about this are the various legal threads - simply put, what is due
Conan and what is due NBC.  I can't imagine the network and host will begin to argue
semantics, such as the meaning of "tonight," but then who really knows. But Co is a
young guy, and will want another gig - Fox or elsewhere remains to be seen.
 
  Conan will tape "The Tonight Show" - possibly his last - in just about an hour.  Tom
Brokaw is a guest.
 
  Amazing.
 
  (By the way,just to keep you all up to speed, TMZ is reporting that Jay will indeed
get "Tonight" back.  But when when when?
 
   Keep on an eye on all this in the hours ahead...you are watching TV history of a most
peculiar nature unfold...
 
 
 Here are the questions of the moment:

 1.) Will his show tonight, which tapes in  just about an hour be his last one for NBC?

  2.) What will  his first guest, Tom Brokaw, say to him? Brokaw is - of course - the

NBC senior statesman.

  3.) Will NBC let him out of his contract?

  4.) Why did NBC misread this so badly?
 
 
  The statement:

 

    People of Earth:

    In the last few days, I’ve been getting a lot of sympathy calls, and I want to start
by making it clear that no one should waste a second feeling sorry for me. For 17 years, I’ve been getting paid to do what I love most and, in a world with real problems, I’ve been absurdly lucky. That said, I’ve been suddenly put in a very public predicament and my bosses are demanding an immediate decision.

    Six years ago, I signed a contract with NBC to take over The Tonight Show in June of
2009. Like a lot of us, I grew up watching Johnny Carson every night and the chance to
one day sit in that chair has meant everything to me. I worked long and hard to get that
opportunity, passed up far more lucrative offers, and since 2004 I have spent literally
hundreds of hours thinking of ways to extend the franchise long into the future. 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. Building a lasting audience at 11:30 is impossible without both.

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    But sadly, we were never given that chance. After only seven months, with my Tonight Show in its infancy, NBC has decided to react to their terrible difficulties in prime-time by making a change in their long-established late night schedule.

    Last Thursday, NBC executives told me they intended to move the Tonight Show to
12:05 to accommodate the Jay Leno Show at 11:35. For 60 years the Tonight Show has aired immediately following the late local news. I sincerely believe that delaying the Tonight Show into the next day to accommodate another comedy program will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting. The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn’t the Tonight Show. Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the Late Night show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot. That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.

    So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoy hosting this
program and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing it.

My staff and I have worked unbelievably hard and we are very proud of our contribution to the legacy of The Tonight Show. But I cannot participate in what I honestly believe is its destruction. Some people will make the argument that with DVRs and the Internet a time slot doesn’t matter. But with the Tonight Show, I believe nothing could matter more.

   There has been speculation about my going to another network but, to set the record
straight, I currently have no other offer and honestly have no idea what happens next.
My hope is that NBC and I can resolve this quickly so that my staff, crew, and I can do
a show we can be proud of, for a company that values our work.    Have a great day and, for the record, I am truly sorry about my hair; it’s always been that way.

    Yours,

    Conan