While B&C notes that affiliates aren't yet calling for Leno's head -- they still like the guy -- there are some jaw-dropping declines in the 10 p.m. hour on some local stations, based on the crucial November sweeps period which helps stations determine their advertising rates. For instance, KVCB Las Vegas has lost nearly half its audience -- 48.4 percent -- at 10 p.m. compared with a year ago, free-falling from a 6.4 household rating/10 share to a 3.3/5. That's so bad it almost qualifies as good news that the local news dropped by only 11.6 percent during the same time period. Woo-hoo!
Given that Comcast just bought a majority stake in NBC Universal, one wonders if that will hasten the change that seems inevitable surrounding "The Jay Leno Show" -- whatever form it might take. What I'm about to say is fairly simplistic, but nonetheless is how business often works: NBC's new owners now have their egos tied up in making the network work, as opposed to former owner General Electric, which recently was more interested in strategy. On the surface at least, the whole business strategy around "The Jay Leno Show" was more GE (i.e. produce something cheaply and realize a healthy profit margin), than it was Comcast. While it's true the network doesn't add as much to NBCU's bottom line as its cable channels, what would be a more high-profile way to show you mean business than fixing the "Jay Leno" mess? I can't think of one.
Previous coverage of "The Jay Leno Show" at BNET Media: