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Boston TV Wants Leno After All

NBC affiliate WHDH-TV has done an about-face and plans to broadcast Jay Leno’s new 10 p.m. show.

After defiantly refusing to air the new Jay Leno show in primetime on weeknights, Boston’s WHDH-TV said today it had reconsidered and would indeed carry the 10 p.m. program this fall.

“Upon further consideration, we have decided to telecast Jay Leno at 10 p.m. starting in September," station owner Ed Ansin said in a statement. "Jay is from Andover, where I went to school. I enjoy his humor.  We hope the new show is a big success.”

The move comes after NBC threatened to pull its affiliation from WHDH if the station went ahead with its plan to forgo Leno’s show in lieu of a new hour-long local news broadcast. Ansin told the Boston Globe earlier this month that he did not think Leno would be effective in primetime — "It will be very adverse to our finances," he said.

For its part, the network now seemed happy with the change of heart.

“We are very pleased that WHDH will carry Jay Leno’s new primetime comedy show at 10 p.m. this fall on NBC," John Eck, president of the NBC TV Network. "We look forward to working closely with the station on a successful launch in Boston of this show, featuring one of the most bankable stars in the business.”

Eck had previously called Channel 7’s rebellious choice “a flagrant violation of the terms of their contract with NBC.”

In June, Leno is departing "The Tonight Show" and Conan O’Brien will replace him.

Neither Ansin or Channel 7 general manager Chris Wayland could immediately be reached for comment.