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NBC's quicker hook of Leno makes sense

By Alan Pergament

Some quick thoughts about the Jimmy Fallon for Jay Leno “Tonight Show” move finally announced Wednesday:

As I suggested here a week ago and some time before that in my former blog, the surprising thing about all the rumors about Fallon getting “The Tonight Show’’ was that NBC planned to wait until September of 2014 to give it to him.

I wondered why they would wait so long and help ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel grab more of the age 18-49 audience before Fallon got his shot.

Sure enough, NBC came to the same conclusion and decided to give Fallon the show in February of 2014 after promoting him during its Winter Olympics coverage. It probably would have put Fallon in “The Tonight Show” seat sooner if it didn’t have to pay Leno multi-millions to leave early.


Leno and CBS late-night host David Letterman pretty much told the same joke Wednesday night about Leno's departure in their monologues:


Jimmy Fallon

Leno: “I had a really awkward day today. I had to call David Letterman and say he didn’t get ‘The Tonight Show’ again.”

Letterman: “My mom called and said, ‘David, I see you didn’t get ‘The Tonight Show’ again.’”

Channel 2, the local NBC affiliate, did a “You Paid for It” segment Wednesday night dealing with the 30 percent state tax credit that NBC would receive for moving Fallon’s version of “The Tonight Show” to New York City from Burbank, Calif.

The report included an interview with local Republican state legislator David DiPietro, who had this to say: “I love Jimmy Fallon. He’s a good entertainer. But I don’t think we should be using taxpayer’s money to bring him back here. If he wants to move back to New York, fantastic and we’d love to have him… But with the state in such horrible (financial) position, it is horrible.”

DiPietro’s comments made me wonder if he really is a Fallon fan. This may be nit-picking, but Fallon isn’t moving back here. His current NBC late-night program is produced in New York City. It is “The Tonight Show” that is moving back when Fallon takes over. The tax break that NBC would receive most likely will easily pay for itself with all the jobs and revenue that Fallon's show will bring to the the state.

Sports Report: The Western New York media is always looking for a local angle and there are a couple involving Mike Rice, the Rutgers University basketball coach who was fired after video surfaced of his abusive behavior to players and his use of homophobic slurs. Rice played at Fordham under Nick Macarchuk, the former Canisius College coach and eventually was an assistant coach at Fordham under Macarchuk. Rice also was an assistant under former Niagara Coach Jack Armstrong, who now is a NBA analyst.

After the video surfaced, Rice’s firing was as predictable as it was necessary. He had three straight losing seasons and that video would have made it even more difficult to recruit new players. NBC’s “Today” ran a foolish poll a few hours before Rice was fired and asked if he should be fired. Not
surprisingly, 97 percent of viewers thought he should be fired. Of course, it wasn’t exactly a fair poll since it followed a condemnation of Rice by the “Today” team.

Channel 7 carried the press conference of Buffalo Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier Wednesday longer than its competitors after the Jason Pominville trade, which lead to some amusing audio. Viewers could hear Channel 2’s Adam Benigni asking Regier a tough question about what went wrong this year on Channel 7 while Channel 2 had gone away to other news.

The loss of Pominville is a big blow to the WNY media. He was one of the go-to guys for the media after games.

It appears that someone at Syracuse University may have gotten to basketball coach Jim Boeheim and explained that his refusal to talk with ESPN basketball reporter Andy Katz was counterproductive and didn’t put the university with one of the best journalism schools in the country in the best light. Boeheim, who avoided Katz during the Big East tournament, appeared on his show “Katz’s Korner” on Monday. The SU coach also appeared Wednesday on ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption” and told Tony Kornheiser and Mike Wilbon that it would be “a tremendous upset if I was not coaching at Syracuse next year.” 


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