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Jay Leno’s Final Day on ‘Tonight Show’ Announced [VIDEO]

Being in the radio ‘biz’, I know a little something about ratings, and the media outlet dependency on these “numbers” to insure a benchmark for strategic marketing, promotions guidance, and solid programming content.

Just like radio, television has the mathematician crunching the numbers inside 15 minute quadrants, so as to compare them with the competition and eradicate the flaw(s) like a pesky ant trail.

For the second time in four years, Jay Leno has been given marching orders and will exit The Tonight Show on February 6.  And, as in 2009, when Conan had a brief, but nauseating seven month stint, the ouster of the second most popular nighttime host behind Johnny Carson, is turning the stomachs of “chin” faithful.

Here’s not understanding NBC’s brass at all.  Leno is not only #1 in his time slot, but is a ratings dominator when you consider two-thirds of the country is sleeping before he embarks on his monologue.  Besides, the only age group not won by Leno, was the not so important 18-34 that Jimmy Kimmel barely beat Leno on (+13,000 viewers).

Kimmel is not even getting the show.  Nope!  38 year-old adolescent Jimmy Fallon will be in charge of keeping the numbers where they are currently at – “Numero uno”!  Even more incredible, NBC is coughing up $15 million to give Leno his walking papers seven months prior to the end of his contract.

The Tonight Show began in 1954 with Steve Allen hosting it until 1957.  Jack Paar took the reigns until 1962, then the “king of late night”, Johnny Carson drove the train for 30 years, until passing the baton to Leno in ’92.  The laughable Conan interruption began and ended in 2009, with Jay returning to save NBC’s bacon the following year.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Jimmy Fallon right where he is.  It is where he belongs.  He has no business sharing the spotlight with the Allen’s, Paar’s, Carson’s and Leno’s.  Conan II comes to television on February 7.

Sure hope this video will be a future re-run after NBC regains consciousness:

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