Banned In Boston

When I heard that NBC was moving Jay Leno to 10pm five days a week here’s what I said: “Maybe they’ll let us air it later so we can run our news at 10.”

Just joking, but as it turns out it was not such an unusual idea —except for the “let us” part.

Boston NBC affiliate WHDH announced yesterday that they will do exactly that in September:  put on an hour of local news starting at 10 and run Leno later. NBC? They’re having a fit —and media insiders speculate that if NBC doesn’t douse the sparks of this insurrection immediately it may spread like wildfire.

And what’s so bad with having Jay Leno at 10pm? Everything. Put something awful at 10 and it could mean even greater trouble for affiliates stuck with the network’s anemic prime time programming. It’s a completely untried strategy at a time when local TV stations are struggling with audience erosion. NBC has not had a CSI, an American Idol, or a Dancing With the Stars —and sooner or later something’s going to give.

Local news is a proven ratings grabber —a ratings grabber in which you get to sell all of the commercials. Put a popular, proven newscast at 10 and it will yield a pile of money. Put Jay Leno there and who the hell knows what will happen.

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One response to “Banned In Boston

  1. As an avid news watcher, I say I would love to see Jay Leno at 10. It might bring me back to NBC in that hour after years of watching the 10 p.m. news elsewhere.

    After all, I only need the top of the late news to find out if anything happened since 6 p.m.

    Leno would give me soething to flip to at 10:06 when all the new news is done and I am still looking for entertainment before I fall asleep.

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