NBC: Leno Still Out in 2009

Second thoughts or no, NBC sticks to the plan
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 30, 2007 1:50 PM CDT
President and CEO of NBC Jeff Zucker, left, and his wife, Caryn, pose for photographers on the red carpet during the arrivals for NBC's 2007-2008 fall preview Monday, May 14, 2007 in New York. (AP Photo/Mary...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Reports of Jay Leno's cold feet notwithstanding, "Conan O'Brien will take over 'The Tonight Show' in 2009," NBC chief Jeff Zucker said yesterday. Reports that Leno was reconsidering retirement from the late-night throne sparked speculation that the network might keep the comedian onboard. Nope, said the exec, adding, "I'm hopeful that Jay will be with us."

"We are in those conversations now" to keep Leno in the fold, Zucker said. The deal to bring in O'Brien was made 3 years, ago, reports the AP. Leno marked his 15th year of hosting "The Tonight Show" last May. The comedian has commented neither on the rumors that he wants to stay nor on Zucker's remarks.