The figures in the late-night crisis are speaking out– but the cone of silence could soon be imposed as the anticipated divorce deal between NBC and Conan O’Brien is about to be signed.
NBC’s exit package with O’Brien will buy — at least for a while — the host’s silence, an insider familiar with the talks said. O’Brien has agreed to a short period of time in which he can’t give any media interviews or slam NBC publicly.
NBC has also agreed to a media blackout. It’s assumed Jay Leno will abide by the deal, too, but Peacock executives weren’t immediately reachable.
Leno addressed the matter on his "Leno Show" monologue. We’re betting Conan does, too: NBC plans to release it shortly.
And NBC U CEO Jeff Zucker is on tonight’s "Charlie Rose." Quotes are starting to leak out.
Long-term, insiders said Conan will be able to make NBC jokes on any new show he might host — though the Peacock always has the option to sue for defamation if it wants to.
This shouldn’t be a problem for O’Brien, however, since the host is said to not to be interested in continuing his recent on-air NBC bashing or in getting into any future spats with the network.