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January 29, 2010

Media execs: NBC should have kept Conan

MediaPost surveyed 129 advertising and marketing executives about NBC's recent late-night travails. The response was intensely negative against Peacock executives.

Asked who was most responsible for the talk-show debacle, which saw the network publicly humiliated by [Conan] O'Brien and gleefully ripped by competitors, 94% of respondents to the Round2 survey blamed NBC's management, compared to about 5% for [Jay] Leno and 1% for O'Brien ... 58% of the MediaLife poll respondents agreed on one point: "It was a spectacle like I've never seen before, proving just how poorly managed the company is. They should have never allowed O'Brien and Leno to let it play out like that on television."

Okay, but that second bit was just a tad leading of a question, don't you think?

Also, respondents thought NBC made the wrong decision by keeping Jay Leno, despite the network's executives saying they expected to lose money on O'Brien hosting "The Tonight Show."

A majority of respondents also said they thought NBC made the wrong decision: 47% would have kept O'Brien, versus 41% for Leno. Twelve percent said NBC should have kept both, if possible, by backing down after O'Brien voiced his objection ... Moreover, 44% of respondents said they believe the controversy will hurt NBC's late-night advertising, compared to 37% who believed it would have no effect. Nineteen percent said they thought the controversy would actually help, as in "any publicity is good publicity."

More from this study here.


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