CEO Craig Dubow says his company’s NBC affiliates may have been better off if NBC had stuck with dramas at 10 o’clock instead of replacing them with The Jay Leno Show, but it’s too early to say for sure.
The first question Gannett CEO Craig Dubow took on his third-quarter conference call today had to do with the impact The Jay Leno Show was having on the late news of Gannett’s NBC affiliates.
Dubow’s answer: Not sure.
“My sense of it is right now we would probably be in a little better position with the traditional prime, but it is awfully early to tell yet.”
The hour variety show, which airs Monday through Friday at 10 o’clock, is significantly underperforming the dramas that NBC scheduled in the time slot in years past and is thus handing off fewer viewers to the affiliates late news that begins at 11.
Nonetheless, some affiliates believe that Leno will prove its worth when the other networks start airing reruns against Leno‘s original mix of stand-up comedy, talk and music.
“Leno … is going to give us some opportunity as we move forward,” Dubow said.
Dubow added that the fate of the Gannett’s last newscasts really depends on how well the stations do their jobs.
“We’ll keep you posted.”