Monday, January 11, 2010

And the Number One Reason not to Feel Sorry for Conan O'Brien in the NBC Shuffle ...

Tonight Show host Conan O'Brien is getting the short end of the stick in the hullabaloo at NBC, which is rearranging its late-night programming to return Jay Leno to his roost at 11:35 pm (where he actually had an audience suited to that time slot) and push back its other programming by a half hour. O'Brien, if he stays, would start his show 30 minutes later than it now starts. But if he goes, he could receive a reported "eight-figure penalty" from NBC for changing his schedule, says USA Today.

This mess is all of NBC's own making, and I'm sure it has the other network bosses chortling as they drink their morning coffee laced with liquid gold and angels' tears. But really, out of a national population well over 300 million, relatively few people stay up and watch any of the late night TV hosts, so once again we're all getting overdosed by the media about a conflict that doesn't affect us and doesn't change much for anyone.

The Kansas City Star's Aaron Barnhart argues that Conan's right to be upset. Mostly I agree. What I don't agree with is that anyone outside of Conan and his close circle of friends, family, and staff who depend upon his happiness and paycheck should feel any sorrow for him.

He and his bank account will land on their feet. Here's a rule of thumb with which even non-Marxists like this blogger can agree: Never feel sorry for someone who earns more than $10 million just for losing his job.
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