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Steve Chiotakis: Let’s call it “Tonight Show 5.0” or “Tonight, 5G.” Conan O’Brien takes over as host of NBC’s late night money-machine starting tonight after the late news. Much has been made about Jay Leno moving into prime-time next fall. But the stakes are even higher for Conan. Here’s Marketplace’s Jeff Tyler.
Jeff Tyler: NBC doesn’t need to worry about ratings tonight. Millions of people will tune-in to watch the new guy. But will they stick around?
Sam Armando: Conan may alienate some of the audience that The Tonight Show has typically had.
That’s Sam Armando, with Starcom Worldwide – an ad buying agency. He says Conan’s competitors are circling. TBS is set to launch a new late night talk show. And don’t forget that gap-toothed New York joker.
Dave Letterman: Welcome to the show. My name is Dave.
Brad Adgate is with Horizon Media. He says people already know David Letterman’s shtick.
Brad Adgate: Letterman will still be second in the time-period, behind O’Brien, and these cable shows will rank behind that.
Adgate expects ad rates for The Tonight Show will remain in the $35,000 to $50,000 range. But because of the lousy economy, all late-night advertisers might be asking for a discount next fall.
I’m Jeff Tyler for Marketplace.
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