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25/01/2010

Conan O'Brien Paid £20m Severance

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Irish-American Talk Show Host Conan O'Brien, 46, has announced that after seven months, he will be stepping down from The Tonight Show's centre stage.
The shock exit saw him pocket a comfortable £20 million in the process.
The host has reportedly been rowing with American programme's broadcaster NBC since replacing Jay Leno.
The main issue being the severe drop in ratings with figures averaging 2.5 million a night – compared with 4.2 million for David Letterman's Late Show.
Adding insult to injury, Leno, 59, is now said to make a comeback to his veteran spot of 17 years from 1st March following the failure of his new 10pm chat show.
O'Brien's last show was said to be a memorable one, featuring an impressive line-up of stars including Tom Hanks and Will Ferrell.
Making light of the situation O'Brien joked with the audience saying his departure from NBC meant "NBC dropped off all my CDs and picked up its lava lamp".
He also apologised to "guests" he had lined up for next week's shows – including U.S. President Barack Obama, the Queen of England and Elvis Presley adding: "I should have known something was up when NBC sent me that 2010 calendar that only went up to January."
O'Brien and the network have also been having ongoing problems surrounding the reshuffling of the time slot from 11.35pm to midnight. During the turbulence, O'Brien placed the Tonight Show on Craigslist for $1.
In the severance deal, O'Brien's 200-strong staff will share out £8 million between them, but according to NBC, due to contractual commitments Conan will not be able to broadcast again until after September 2010.
(BMcN/BMcC)
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