The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

April 3, 2013

Leno to leave Tonight Show next spring

Jimmy Fallon named replacement

(Continued)

The Leno-Fallon changeover didn't begin smoothly. Leno had been cracking jokes about NBC's prime-time futility, angering NBC entertainment chief Robert Greenblatt, who sent a note to Leno telling him to cool it. That only made Leno go after NBC management much harder.

The first public effort toward making the transition smooth came Monday night, when Leno and Fallon appeared in a comic video making fun of the late-night rumors. It aired in between each man's show.

John Dawson, general manager for five NBC affiliates that have extensive reach throughout Kansas, said it will be difficult to give up a program that wins its time period by 33 percent.

"Jay has always been a great friend to the affiliates," he said. "For that alone it will be hard to give up."

But he said he believes in Fallon and in NBC's corporate owners Comcast, the nation's largest cable company.

"Comcast certainly knows how to launch entertainment programming," Dawson said.

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