Jay Low

jayThe rumors are flying fast and furious that NBC is getting ready to pull the plug on Jay Leno at 10pm. Yesterday NBC said:

“Jay’s show has performed exactly as we anticipated on the network. It has, however, presented some issues for our affiliates.”

That’s a little like saying icebergs presented some issues for the Titanic.

Back in April I railed against NBC’s plan to put Jay Leno at 10pm. This was not just me blowing hot air, but a matter of personal interest.

At the time it was my job to get people to watch the news on WNYT. I was a little worried that five nights a week of Jay Leno would send the station’s 11pm news spinning down the toilet. To be honest, I was mostly worried that Jay Leno would somehow become my problem.

When the show premiered in September my worst fears were confirmed: it stunk. And since the fall Channel 13 plunged from its once dominant position at 11pm. Some people say that a 10pm show has little to do with late news success. That may be —and perhaps it’s just a wild coincidence that NBC stations everywhere are suffering .

Give NBC credit. They figured out they can make money with Leno’s low ratings because it’s so cheap to produce compared to hour-long dramas. To bad it was at the expense of their local partners.

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