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Conan says "Goodbye" to Hollywood...err...NYC in 2009

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Conan says "Goodbye" to Hollywood...err...NYC in 2009

Old 10-12-07, 04:52 PM
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Conan says "Goodbye" to Hollywood...err...NYC in 2009

Found this on a Yankees forum I frequent.

Buried in this long ass report about NBC leaving Burbank is confirmation that Conan will be going West I'm sure we all knew it was coming, but I was hoping Conan would put his foot down and make the assclowns come to him..

NBC to bid bye-bye to Burbank

NBC Universal is dropping the curtain on "beautiful downtown Burbank."

The media company, which made the town of tract houses the butt of endless jokes, but also brought it prominence as the base of "The Tonight Show," is decamping to nearby Universal Studios.

The media company announced today that it will sell much of the 34 acres it owns in Burbank, including the legendary NBC Studios at 3000 W. Alameda Ave.

The studio has a rich history, as home to such iconic programs as "The Tonight Show," first with Johnny Carson and now with Jay Leno, as well as "Hollywood Squares," "To Tell the Truth" and "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In." Elvis Presley taped his 1968 Christmas special there, and Tom Brokaw started his NBC career at KNBC-TV Channel 4, which shares the premises.

" 'The Tonight Show' put us on the map" said Burbank Mayor Marsha Ramos. "Without that line from Johnny Carson, about 'beautiful downtown Burbank,' most people wouldn't even know that we exist. When 'The Tonight Show' leaves, there will be a portion of our heart that will be empty."

NBC Universal said it was in negotiations with a buyer, whom it declined to name.

The company intends to relocate the network and local news operations from Burbank to a new headquarters in a massive complex planned a couple of miles away on Lankershim Boulevard, across the street from Universal Studios.

A Red Line subway station and a sprawling parking lot now occupy the proposed site next to the 101 Freeway. The subway stop will remain and be part of the new complex.

The new "green" facility, with its high-definition news headquarters, is scheduled to house NBC News' West Coast operations and the local news staffs of KNBC and Spanish-language Telemundo KVEA-TV Channel 52. NBC's syndicated entertainment show "Access Hollywood" would also be located there.

NBC Universal expects to move into the new center in 2011. The sale of the Burbank property was necessary in part to pay for the elaborate new facility.

The project is not NBC Universal's only ambitious expansion at Universal Studios. It is separately seeking approval for a $3-billion development plan for Universal City that would add 2,900 homes to the area, as well as new production facilities and retail space. The project, which must get county and city approval, could take several years to get off the ground.

NBC Universal also confirmed Wednesday that "The Tonight Show" would remain in Los Angeles when Conan O'Brien, who now shoots his "Late Night" show in New York, takes over from Leno in 2009. With the Burbank facility on the block, the network is expanding and upgrading Studio One, a soundstage on the Universal Studios lot that was built in 1961 for "The Jack Benny Program." The new home for the late-night program has had other memorable productions, including "Jurassic Park III" and "The Incredible Hulk," as well as the 1980s television show "Knight Rider."

NBC Universal three years ago made the controversial decision to give O'Brien the illustrious 11:35 p.m. time slot. That move in effect set a retirement date on "The Tonight Show" for Leno, who continues to be one of the network's most popular and bankable stars.

"Everybody likes to have visible shows like 'The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.' They are a big part of who we are," said Mary J. Alvord, Burbank's city manager. "Jay has been more than a host -- he's been an accessible member of our community. It's a sad day for Burbank."

In fact, Leno attended a public safety communications simulation in Burbank on Wednesday.

Tom Smith, senior vice president of West Coast real estate for NBC Universal, noted that the company's development deal with Burbank required NBC to sell the parcel to a buyer who planned media-related uses for the property, a provision that could help guarantee the creation of high-paying jobs.

Before any deal is complete, however, the company wants assurances that it can lease back the site, purchased in 1951, for its news operations until the new facility in Universal City is complete. It is also considering retaining some of the studio space that it now leases to other productions, including "Days of Our Lives" and "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

"We have had a great relationship with Burbank, but it has become increasingly difficult to keep building new technology on top of an old backbone," Smith said.

NBC has ambitious plans for its new digs, which it has dubbed the West Coast News Headquarters and Content Center. The company would be anchor tenant of the nearly 1.5-million-square-foot project.

Los Angeles County and city officials were not unanimously enthusiastic about NBC's plan, even though it would bring jobs.

"It's too big," said County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who is also a member of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. "This project has a long way to go. This is their opening salvo, but it's not a fait accompli as far as I'm concerned. Traffic and the scale of the project are going to be my concerns."

Universal's former owner, Music Corp. of America, sold the parcel to the MTA in the mid-1990s . As part of the transfer, Universal kept a "right of first refusal" for any future development plans on the site. Last year, NBC Universal told the MTA that it would be exercising its development option.

Rick Jager, a spokesman for the MTA, confirmed that negotiations for the use of the site were "nearing completion," adding that the deal could be finalized within the next two to three weeks.

According to plans filed with the city of Los Angeles in June by Thomas Properties, NBC Universal's developer, the so-called Metro Universal Project would be built in two phases. Phase 1 would include a 655,200-square-foot office complex and a 315,000-square-foot media production facility with up to 1,780 parking spaces, of which 564 would be reserved for Metro subway riders (up from the current 450 slots). There would also be retail shops and restaurants.

"I think this development could be a little too intense and overwhelming," said City Councilman Tom LaBonge, who said he was not supporting the project as it was currently designed. Traffic mitigation and street improvements would have to be made, he said.

"It's interesting and exciting that NBC is coming back to Los Angeles," La Bonge added, recalling that as a Boy Scout, he attended jamborees at NBC's first West Coast headquarters at Sunset and Vine in the heart of Hollywood.

Another issue for NBC Universal is how to preserve the site's historic Campo de Cahuenga, a replica of the adobe farmhouse near where the Treaty of Cahuenga was signed between Lt. Col. John C. Fremont and Gen. Andres Pico in 1847, ending hostilities in California between Mexico and the United States.

NBC's plan calls for a street-side studio modeled after NBC's "Today" show set in New York, as well as state-of-the-art production facilities that will allow the company's news organizations to more easily share content, executives said.

"I think this is a real pronouncement of a serious commitment on the company's part to news and information going forward," said Steve Capus, president of NBC News, adding that the new Universal City headquarters would give his division a "central nervous system."

Even though NBC's various newsrooms currently share the same facility in Burbank, "right now we're kind of a completely disconnected organization, because the technical spines around our organizations are built on different platforms."

While the behind-the-scenes changes may not be immediately evident to viewers, Capus said, "it will be great to finally be able to honestly say when we throw to someone in Los Angeles, 'We're standing in the city of Los Angeles.' "

The consolidation of NBC Universal's West Coast news divisions comes as the company is set to unveil a similar project in New York today -- a combined newsroom and production facility in its Rockefeller Center headquarters that will now house not only NBC News and WNBC-TV, but also MSNBC, which is leaving its New Jersey facility.

"In New York, we have all of our news entities on a common platform and it allows you to share media," said John Wallace, president of NBC's owned-and-operated television stations. "That's a tremendous advantage we don't have in Burbank, largely because the building was constructed 50 years ago."

NBC Universal officials sought to play down the impact their departure would have on Burbank.

"We're going to continue to be a very strong-minded community presence for the next three to five years," Smith said. "We're not going away any time soon."

Burbank was stung in the early 1990s when it lost major Lockheed Corp. aerospace operations, but the land near the city's airport has been turned into a thriving shopping and office district.

"It's always a blow to a community when you lose an economic generator like NBC, especially when it has a worldwide name brand," said Larry Kosmont, a real estate consultant and former Burbank city official.

But the loss might just be a short-term setback, Kosmont said. The Burbank Media District where the studio is located is one of the most desirable office markets in the region. The site could be highly coveted by developers and would lend itself to a mix of uses, including retail.

"This could be a double victory for NBC," Kosmont said. "They find a better home and sell their old one for a high value."
Old 10-12-07, 04:55 PM
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The Tonight Show as far as I know needs to be shot in LA because it's much easier to book guests than in NYC.
Old 10-12-07, 05:18 PM
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So, now he is taking over the job.

I can't wait until the end of 2008. Leno says he's not leaving, Conan says he's taking over the gig, and other people say they have the inside line on Conan's job. Wonder what will really happen.
Old 10-12-07, 05:19 PM
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My guesses are that one of two things will happen:

1) NBC backs a tractor frailer full of cash up to Conan's accountant and pushes back the change 5 years

OR

2) NBC goes through with it and Leno moves to Fox
Old 10-12-07, 05:32 PM
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Is NBC news staying in NY or will it move to LA? I thought I heard Brian Williams say they were going to leave the other night, but that article said they're staying put in NY.
Old 10-12-07, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by TruGator
Is NBC news staying in NY or will it move to LA? I thought I heard Brian Williams say they were going to leave the other night, but that article said they're staying put in NY.
Network news tends to be based on the East Coast, so it can be done live for Eastern time and taped for other time zones. Of course, there's no reason you can't do the news live from the West Coast, too.
Old 10-12-07, 09:10 PM
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I'm so confused
Old 10-12-07, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Seantn
I've read that if NBC told Conan that he had to stay at Late Night because Jay changed his mind, that Conan would most likely leave and go to another network, much in the same way that Dave Letterman went to CBS when he didn't get the job hosting the tonight show.
Source?
Old 10-12-07, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Seantn
I've read that if NBC told Conan that he had to stay at Late Night because Jay changed his mind, that Conan would most likely leave and go to another network, much in the same way that Dave Letterman went to CBS when he didn't get the job hosting the tonight show.
I thought that was the reason they made this decision so soon...they didn't want Conan going anywhere.
Old 10-12-07, 11:12 PM
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I was hoping Conan would at least insist on a split show that's filmed part of the year in NYC, the rest of the year in LA.
Old 10-12-07, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Seantn
I've read that if NBC told Conan that he had to stay at Late Night because Jay changed his mind, that Conan would most likely leave and go to another network, much in the same way that Dave Letterman went to CBS when he didn't get the job hosting the tonight show.
Dave --when he was hosting Late Night on NBC, had a penalty clause in his contract in case he didn't get the Tonight Show when Carson retired.

However, the penalty was just $1 million --which was nothing to NBC.

I would think that Conan and his "people" are smart enough to have a much more lucrative penalty clause in his contract in case NBC backs out of the 2009 deal.

But let's be honest. If Conan can't get Leno's job, the only other job comparable is Letterman's --and if he isn't ready to retire, Conan really has no where else to go that's better than where he is now.

In 2009, if Leno doesn't leave, wouldn't it make sense for Conan to stay at Late Night --as long as NBC is willing to keep handing him lots of money.
Old 10-13-07, 12:12 AM
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I thought Conan taking over the Tonight Show in '09 was a done deal.

It was certainly promoted that way when originally announced.
Old 10-13-07, 03:36 AM
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Why not just give Conan the job in 08? Put Leno out of his misery!
Old 10-13-07, 05:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Lara Means
Why not just give Conan the job in 08? Put Leno out of his misery!



< Can't wait 'til Leno is off of TV.
Old 10-13-07, 09:52 AM
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I do think Conan O'Brien will move to Los Angeles when he takes over The Tonight Show. After all, he'd love moving to a new, state-of-the-art TV studio that will be vastly superior to the NBC studio facilities in New York City.

(As an aside, I do like the fact that NBC Universal will move all of its broadcast operations to new facilities near Universal Studios Hollywood. I can see The Tonight Show broadcasting quite a lot from inside the theme park and at the nearby CityWalk shopping complex.)
Old 10-13-07, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Count Dooku
Dave --when he was hosting Late Night on NBC, had a penalty clause in his contract in case he didn't get the Tonight Show when Carson retired.

However, the penalty was just $1 million --which was nothing to NBC.

I would think that Conan and his "people" are smart enough to have a much more lucrative penalty clause in his contract in case NBC backs out of the 2009 deal.

In 2009, if Leno doesn't leave, wouldn't it make sense for Conan to stay at Late Night --as long as NBC is willing to keep handing him lots of money.
I'm pretty sure I remember reading that NBC agreed to pay Conan something enormous like a $40 million penalty if they didn't give him the Tonight Show job as promised in 2009.
Old 10-13-07, 11:02 AM
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Is it thread crapping to say that if and when Conan goes to the Tonight Show, that is the end of my days of watching the Tonight Show at all? Not that I am a huge fan of Leno...but he has somethings I like to watch, such as Headlines on Monday night which I never miss, but in general the only talk show I genuinely look forward to watching every day is Jimmy Kimmel. Conan is about as funny as my dog's turds. Oh, let's stand around and jump for five minutes. HILARIOUS! It ranks up there with Letterman's "humor" where he says "HUH?" every other sentence.

Sorry....I know the guy has his fans...and I have seen funny things on his show, which were written by Robert Smigel. Smigel is the funniest damn thing to happen to Conan O'Brien. Conan, alone and by himself, is not funny. And if he didn't have Smigel to supply him with good material, I wonder how popular his show would be. But I can't imagine everybody under the sun thinks Conan going to the Tonight Show is the best idea since the invention of TV.

Last edited by calhoun07; 10-13-07 at 11:05 AM.
Old 10-13-07, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by RayChuang
I do think Conan O'Brien will move to Los Angeles when he takes over The Tonight Show. After all, he'd love moving to a new, state-of-the-art TV studio that will be vastly superior to the NBC studio facilities in New York City.
I donít know about OíBrien but I couldnít move somewhere were the weather never changes. Iím sure the people living in California say, I could never live in a place were the weather does change.

Of course, most of the actors/celebrities live their so itís a lot easier to book guests & that new studio will indeed be vastly superior to the NY NBC studio at 30 Rock.

I wonder if Max Weinberg & the Max Weinberg 7 will go with him onto The Tonight Show or will he be stuck with Lenoís Tonight show band? If he doesnít have Weinberg come with him, some of the comedy will be lost, because him & Conan have excellent comedic chemistry together, in my opinion.

Will have to wait and see...
Old 10-17-07, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by nateman241
I wonder if Max Weinberg & the Max Weinberg 7 will go with him onto The Tonight Show or will he be stuck with Lenoís Tonight show band? If he doesnít have Weinberg come with him, some of the comedy will be lost, because him & Conan have excellent comedic chemistry together, in my opinion.
There was some talk at the start of the last Springsteen tour whether or not Max would be available for future tours after he moved to Los Angeles with Conan.
Old 10-17-07, 03:36 PM
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So that means Kevin Eubanks is out of a job... Fine by me!

I'd much rather see the Max Weinberg 7 stay with Conan.
Old 10-17-07, 03:43 PM
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I talked to Mark Pender from the Max Weinberg 7 last year and at the time he wasn't sure if the band would be going. But it didn't sound like they were actively talking about replacing them either.
Old 10-17-07, 03:58 PM
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How does it work, I wonder? Conan will be going to "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien". Does "The Tonight Show" fire all their writers from when Jay was on, and does Conan bring all his writers with him? I hope so, otherwise the show might just be Conan with him saying some crappy Jay Leno jokes. I'm sure Conan has a big hand in his jokes as well, but he does have help from his writers.
Old 10-17-07, 04:53 PM
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Unfortunately, I think its going to water Conan down a bit the same way the 11:35 time slot did for Letterman. I don't know how the masterbating bear would play right after your local sports cast.
Old 10-17-07, 05:58 PM
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The day Jay Leno is no longer the host of The Tonight Show, every person working there who is involved in the creative production of the program is terminated.
That means every writer, every producer, the director, everybody in the band, certainly anybody who appears on camera.
Even if all you're doing is fetching coffee and making copies, you should assume that Jay's last day is your last day.

They all work for Jay Leno and when he's out, they're out.

If/when Conan O'Brien takes over, he will bring in his own people, and anyone who is willing to relocate to LA will be welcome.
The only condition will be how many of Conan's people, like the guys in The Max Weinberg Seven, who have probably lived most of their adult lives in New York, will want to uproot their families and move to LA.

When David Letterman left NBC, he even took the stagehands and the cameramen with him.
Old 10-17-07, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by XavierMike
Unfortunately, I think its going to water Conan down a bit the same way the 11:35 time slot did for Letterman. I don't know how the masterbating bear would play right after your local sports cast.
He's already been making adjustments to the show.
The bear rarely appears on the show anymore --I can't remember the last time.
The bear was prominently featured when Conan went to Chicago in 2006, ut made no appearance on the San Fran trip this year.

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