ABC News is reporting a source close to the Conan O’Brien negotiations with NBC says a settlement deal that would cut the host loose from the network could be finalized before today is over.
The deal would pay disgruntled O’Brien somewhere between $30 and $40 million to leave “The Tonight Show” and network so ousted Jay Leno can resume his old post at 11:35pm. Many of Conan’s staffers who made the move from New York to Los Angeles when Conan left “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” last year to pursue “The Tonight Show” will receive severance and contract buy-out packages, of which the exact dollar amount and terms have been a sticking point in negotiations.
Once Conan is free and if he signs with another network to take on Jay Leno and David Letterman at 11:35pm, some of his staff and crew could potentially be brought back and signed to new deals. After Conan’s rejection of NBC’s offer to move back to his old spot behind Leno, it is hard to imagine Conan settling for anything less than being a network’s top late night dog.
Source: ABC News