Okay, so the Conan / Leno / NBC lat night thing has played itself out…finally.  Just a nasty bit of business on that thing the whole way around.  Everybody’s got their opinions and there’s ample blame to be spread around any way we see fit.  And some of those who are seeing it almost exclusively one way are TV media and marketing execs.  THR.com’s James Hibberd has an article on his Live Feed that gives the results of how 129 media exec types who were recently interviewed by MediaPost saw how things should have gone:

Asked who was most responsible for the talk-show debacle, which saw the network publicly humiliated by [Conan] O’Brien and gleefully ripped by competitors, 94% of respondents to the Round2 survey blamed NBC’s management, compared to about 5% for [Jay] Leno and 1% for O’Brien … 58% of the MediaLife poll respondents agreed on one point: “It was a spectacle like I’ve never seen before, proving just how poorly managed the company is. They should have never allowed O’Brien and Leno to let it play out like that on television.”

A majority of respondents also said they thought NBC made the wrong decision: 47% would have kept O’Brien, versus 41% for Leno. Twelve percent said NBC should have kept both, if possible, by backing down after O’Brien voiced his objection … Moreover, 44% of respondents said they believe the controversy will hurt NBC’s late-night advertising, compared to 37% who believed it would have no effect. Nineteen percent said they thought the controversy would actually help, as in “any publicity is good publicity.”

On another front of the late night issue, while Alex recently told us that Conan is going to be doing some business with NBC regarding a pilot, he still has his options open, although Fox remains the biggest rumor.  But another possibility (i.e. not really), is Spike, which has decided to get in on the pre-midnight action by announcing their own planned late night show.  The man network is developing with Deadliest Catch exec producer Thom Beers a “weekly half-hour series that will be a
combination of talk and comedy with a focus on “manformation for
the true guys’ guy” and will have two hosts

Long for the days of The Joan Rivers Show on the message boards.