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With The Tonight Show set to move from Burbank to New York in 2014, NBC Broadcasting chairman Ted Harbert is taking on a big new role overseeing the day-to-day management of the network’s late-night programming, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. In an unusual twist, late night will continue to report to current reality and late-night chief Paul Telegdy.
Harbert reports directly to NBCUniversal chairman Steve Burke. Telegdy, based in Burbank, reports to NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt, who in turn reports to Burke. Harbert’s role is said to involve daily oversight of The Tonight Show and Late Night, both of which are expected to tape in New York beginning next spring.
According to an informed source, Telegdy — whose title is president, alternative and late night programming — recently flew to New York to lobby for continued sole oversight of the late-night schedule. But with all of that programming now originating in New York, Harbert clearly will be a major player in his expanded role.
NBC declined to comment on the moves.
Many industry observers have long felt that Harbert, who now oversees advertising sales for NBC-owned television stations and affiliate relations, has wanted to expand his portfolio.
According to sources, Telegdy had opposed the decision to shift Jay Leno out of his Tonight perch. They also say that it was Harbert, rather than Telegdy, who initially was tasked with effecting the transition to Jimmy Fallon, though ultimately it was Burke who flew to Los Angeles in March to convince Leno that the time had come for change.
As first reported in THR, NBC plans to move Fallon into the Tonight host’s chair in February. The show will return to New York, where it was produced until a 1972 move to the West Coast. It will be produced by Lorne Michaels.
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