NBC Exec Calls Conan 'Chicken-Hearted and Gutless'

Dick Ebersol clearly Team Jay Leno in 'Tonight Show' flap
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2010 10:34 AM CST
In this March 25, 2009 file photo, NBC chairman Dick Ebersol talks during an interview at the SportAccord gathering in Denver.   (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey, File)
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(Newser) – Though his fellow comedians are lashing out at Jay Leno, the comedian at least has the NBC brass on his side. Conan O’Brien is “chicken-hearted and gutless” for blaming his “astounding failure” on Leno, says Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Universal Sports. The bottom line? O’Brien couldn’t beat Leno in the ratings, Ebersol tells Bill Carter of the New York Times, adding that he gave O’Brien advice the host never took.

“You don’t personally attack someone who hasn’t done anything,” Ebersol says, insisting that Leno did not push for any of the changes. “They’re just striking out at Jay. It seems like professional jealousy.”

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