Jay Leno’s reign as Tonight Show host ends in February regardless of his current ratings dominance.
That doesn’t mean we’ve seen the last of the sole late night comic willing to poke fun at President Barack Obama with regularity.
Leno will be replaced by the younger, supposedly more demo-friendly Jimmy Fallon in the new year. The switch comes at a time when Leno’s ratings supremacy over rival David Letterman has never been more pronounced.
That intrigues a number of media outlets who may wish to add Leno to their roster.
Sources tell THR that CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker — who, while running NBCUniversal, famously set in motion Leno’s first ouster from Tonight by promising the show to Conan O’Brien in 2009 — is among those who have approached Leno for a late-night or primetime show on his network…. Also among the 10 or so outlets courting the comic are Tribune, American Idol producer Core Media Group and even former NBC chief Jeff Gaspin.
But Leno, 63, and his lone representative, attorney Ken Ziffren, are said to be refusing to entertain offers until the host fulfills his obligation to NBC on Feb. 6.