NBC says it knows of no other affiliates seeking to follow Boston’s lead and abandon Jay Leno.
WHDH in Boston says it will air a local newscast at 10 p.m. next fall instead of Leno’s planned nightly show at that hour. Station management said it believed a newscast would make the station more money.
NBC has responded firmly, threatening to strip WHDH of its network affiliation if it doesn’t air Leno and undoubtedly send a message to any other stations that may be thinking of doing the same thing. NBC spokeswoman Rebecca Marks says no other NBC stations have said they won’t take Leno.
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Leno is leaving “The Tonight Show” in June, and his new prime-time program on NBC is scheduled to begin in September.
Ed Ansin, who owns WHDH’s parent company, told The Boston Globe he did not believe Leno’s new show would be successful. He said the station would do better financially with a news show that competes with Fox-affiliated WFXT-TV’s highly rated 10 p.m. newscast.
NBC TV Network president John Eck said in a statement that WHDH’s move is a “flagrant violation” of its contract with the network.
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