Conan O'Brien Agrees To $44 Million Payout From NBC
After two weeks worth of hasty negotiations, Conan O'Brien has signed a deal with NBC to exit the Tonight Show, allowing Jay Leno to return as host of the legendary late night program. Radar Online reports that Coco signed the paperwork at 1 A.M. PST Thursday, agreeing to a $32 million payout for himself and an additional $12 million to take care of his staff.
O'Brien's manager Gavin Polone released a statement early this morning saying, "In the end, Conan was appreciative of the steps NBC made to take care of his staff and crew, and decided to supplement the severance they were getting out of his own pocket. Now he just wants to get back on the air as quickly as possible."
Yesterday, the network announced Conan's guest schedule for the rest of the week and revealed that they would not offer tickets for the Tonight Show studio audience next week, hinting that Conan's last Tonight Show will be Friday.
An official statement, hopefully clearing up who will get custody of the Masturbating Bear, is expected later today.