If you want to be a business owner, I suggest the letters N, B, and C never enter your mind. Not only has the Peacock network been slowly killing itself with mind numbingly awful programming decisions for the last decade, but they are currently in a very public battle with their two big late night stars, Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno.
The feud, as everyone probably knows by now, is over Jay Leno returning to the Tonight Show and O’Brien being dumped. This idea is monumentally stupid for one reason and one reason only: NBC is rewarding the failure that is (for this season at least) solely responsible for the bind they’re in.
I’m not going to get into who’s funnier–it’s Conan, by the way–because the sheer stupidity NBC is displaying is what is really on my mind. I may not be good at math, but I sure as hell can recognize a pattern when I see one. According to this article, local NBC affiliates have lost on average 25% of their newscast viewership from this time a year ago when Leno wasn’t failing miserably in the 10 p.m. timeslot. This, in turn, affected O’Brien’s ratings, as the local news had no viewers sticking around to see his show, and he was regularly beaten by David Letterman. See the domino effect?
And now NBC is in panic mode. Their network’s circling the drain, and instead of firing Leno for the distinctly poor job he’s done of bringing in viewers and advertisers (re: money), they’re reportedly placing Leno in his old Tonight Show position, leaving Conan, who isn’t even performing that poorly, unemployed. I can’t wrap my mind around it because it is not capitalistic, which is sort of, y’know, the point of a multinational conglomerate. NBC is, based on the numbers, choosing to lose money. My brain hurts.
P.S. Good luck, Conan, wherever you land.
P.P.S. If you want to hire me, I certainly wouldn’t complain.