Gaspin: Conan on Cable Is No Longer My Problem

Plus: The NBC exec repeats his intention to spend the needed coin to get new hits

Now that he’s going to cable, Conan O’Brien is no longer "my problem," NBC Universal TV chief Jeff Gaspin tells the New York Times.

In a wide-ranging interview in Monday’s edition, Gaspin said he no longer has to fret about O’Brien doing damage to NBC’s late-night lineup because he’ll be on TBS and not a broadcast network such as Fox.

"The Conan story is gone for me," Gaspin said in an interview with the Times’ Bill Carter.

It’s interesting that Gaspin — who also oversees NBC U’s super-successful roster of cable networks, including top-rated (and sometimes more watched than NBC) USA — would suggest that a cable show isn’t competition for a broadcast franchise. Particularly since the top-rated program in late night among under 35 viewers is on cable (Cartoon’s "Adult Swim").

Gaspin also continues to put distance between himself and NBC’s previous strategy of "managing for margin."

"We’re going to have to pay" for hit shows, Gaspin said.

The executive repeats many of the same points he made last October in an interview with TheWrap. That interview is here; the new interview with the Times can be found here.