Conan O’Brien Could Get $32 Million In Severance Pay

On the Golden Globes red carpet Sunday night, Tina Fey joked, “It’s not rain—it’s just God crying for NBC.” She of course meant that her network is not only sagging in ratings, but got itself in a pickle by creating a 10 p.m. “Jay Leno Show” and moving Conan O’Brien to “The Tonight Show,” only to go back on that decision a few months later and try to rejigger their late-night lineup. When Conan stood up to them and said that the switcheroo would “seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting,” he seemed to win in the court of public opinion. And now it appears that his bank account will win, too. A deal is being worked out between NBC and Conan as we speak. And insiders say the severance package would give Conan $32.5 million dollars to exit gracefully. This deal would block him from further bad-mouthing NBC and would keep him from penning a contract with another station for a year. After that, he’d be a free agent. The deal also takes into account Conan’s staff—giving them $7 million in severance pay. While this sounds like not a terrible deal, given the situation, I’m sad that we won’t see Conan’s red hair on late-night TV until 2011. What do you think—fair or no? [Huffington Post, NY Post]

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