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Conan O'Brien, NBC Reach $45Mil Settlement

1/21/2010 9:28 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Conan O'brien reaches settlementConan O'Brien and NBC worked out their final conflict hours ago and have reached a $45 million settlement ... and we've learned it's a sweeter deal for Conan than anyone thought.

Network sources tell TMZ the "mitigation" clause was taken off the table. Translation -- Conan will get a severance of $32.5 million, regardless of whether he gets another hosting gig. Not bad for seven months work.

As we first reported, NBC will pay $7.5 million to Conan's "Tonight Show" staff -- and our sources believe the network added several thousand more to the pot at the last minute.

In addition, NBC will pay a whopping $4.5 million to the executive producer.

Conan has agreed he will not take another hosting gig 'till September at the earliest.

Conan's last show is Friday. We're told NBC hasn't decided who will replace Conan for the period between Monday and the Winter Olympics.

remembering Conan O'Brien


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Gee, I wish I could get a payout like that because I sucked at my job.

1714 days ago


if this was a bank and someone got a 45 million payout to leave everyone would be freaking out. You all know we end up paying for that 45 million in the end by NBC receiving outrageous amounts for advertisements, which the companies pass on to the consumer, right? This should be pissing EVERYONE off!

1714 days ago

TMZ hits a new low    

I say Go Conan! You deserve every penny. As usual, NBC treats their talent like shiz. I think this will be a huge boost to Conan and I don't even watch his show! But speaking business-wise only, another network will scoop him up and in September when he can come back, he'll be back. Jay's BS is so tired. His show is done. NBC has a severe FUBAR on its hands but it's their own weird undoing. And since all the intellectual rights stay with NBC, Conan can come up with some new stuff. To the whiners who says Conan owes his staff money, he doesn't. They moved to L.A. Welcome to the business. Everyone moves on.

1714 days ago

Vale Tudo    

I always thought it was something up when Harvey would talk about the "offset" if Conan found another gig. That is the point of the penalty clause. Meaning, that Conan had no duty to mitigate his damages. That was the whole point of given him the tonight show in the first place. It would have cost them too much to revoke on their promise to give him the tonight show. Also, Conan had for sure learned from Letterman back in the day. His Penalty for not getting the show was only a $1m dollars.

1714 days ago


This hostility against Conan is misplaced. NBC violated his contract, and he has the right to walk. While a time slot was not guaranteed but the Tonight Show has always been the after the local news show - and I think it is fair that 12:05 means it is no longer "The Tonight Show."

Conan is getting this money because NBC executives completely misread the situation and made this deal. Conan also has a right to be angry since Jay Leno was given an enormous amount of time to get his ratings up.

I agree that this is nothing more that a soap opera involving rich white guys - but the real villains are the executives - not any of the comedians who are involved.

1714 days ago

I selpt with John Edwards, too!!!!!    

Thank you Harvey for not bringing attention to my admission of fathering a ba$tard child with a prostitute I hired to work on my "staff" while my wife was dying from cancer.

You are a great fellow Liberal Nazi. I love you.


1714 days ago


And the NBC interns keep on commenting in favour of Jay. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY SHOCKING (not really). Work that damage control NBC.

And LOL at people raging about the money Conan's receiving. Jay Leno was paid MILLIONS per yr when he on the Tonight Show. Most of which he spends on cars, denim, and the rest he keeps in the bank (he said so himself).

1714 days ago


78. @ Wellington: This is the second time I've read your claim that Conan forced Jay out. Even Leno himself said that the decision to award Conan "The Tonight Show" was NBC's, whose executives were afraid that Conan would jump networks. NBC anticipated that Leno's ratings would decline by the time Conan took over "The Tonight Show".

Either you or Jay is muddying the facts. Which of you two earned a degree in Revisionist History?

Posted at 11:31AM on Jan 21st 2010 by Dorinha

Read more:
You obviously do not want to accept what Conan did nor do you understand corporate politics. Conan put the squeeze play on NBC in 2004. He had other offers, supposedly, and said that on the condition of getting the Tonight Show he would stay at NBC. Conan had a choice. He didn't say, "Gee, I don't want you to do that to Jay. I'll just go to another network."

Conan was perfectly happy with NBC playing Jay dirty if he got the benefit of it. When an employer is like that don't think he won't do it to you too.

Then there's Letterman shooting his mouth off because he still can't get over the fact that when he and Leno competed for the same job opening, Leno was chosen over him.

If you think what Conan did wasn't wrong, then maybe Conan should go to CBS and ask for Letterman's job and have CBS force Letterman to leave. Unlike with Jay and NBC, at least CBS would have an excuse since Letterman hasn't gotten top ratings for years and his on the job sex scandal.

1714 days ago


People complain about 1 million dollar bonuses for bankers, yet are happy when Conan gets 33 million for doing absolutely nothing. Somehow Conan managed to make himself seem as a victim - in order to preserve the Tonight Shows "integrity". This is his biggest joke of all. If 33 million was given to the CEO of Morgan Stanley to quit, he'd be the attack of everyone on here.

1714 days ago


Yay! Conando wins again!

1714 days ago


NO talk show host is worth 45 million dollars & he doesn't even have to work for it. This is truly a crazy world. Two different worlds the rich & the poor!!! Very sad. People starving & homeless & the rich through there money away on stuff..

1714 days ago


what a joke 45 million what for being basically fired from his job for not being funny and poor weak job performance aka getting weak poor ratings after a year on the job after leno stepped down and made way for conan if anything conan should repay give money to nbc and leno if conan had a normal ten to five job like the most of us he wouldn't get anything for doing his job poorly and on the unemployment line by now

1714 days ago


Farewell (for now) rally Friday in Los Angeles. I know some people plan on showing up about 2ish. I plan on being there around that time and maybe staying until a little after show taping is over. As someone in the discussion board suggested, we could bring handwritten notes or cards. I think that's cool. Someone also... suggested candles to light at night. My son wants to bring some glow sticks..

1714 days ago


#14 Conan is also givng money out of his pocket to his staff!! Tell me another celeb who would do that!! Idiot

1714 days ago


Okay, Conan gets $32.5 million and can pocket anything earned outside of NBC. Now remind me, why are we so sad for Conan?

1714 days ago
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