Boston’s NBC affiliate, WHDH Channel 7, said it will not alter its schedule to accommodate the network’s planned fall shift of The Tonight Show With Jay Leno to the 10 p.m. slot, as they said it would be better business to air their own hour-long newscast instead.
Station manager Ed Ansin told The Boston Globe that airing the news over Leno “fundamentally is a better financial plan” for the time-slot.
“We don’t think the Leno show is going to be effective in prime-time … there are a lot more viewers available at 10 o’clock,” Ansin said. “We are already suffering from weak lead-ins.”
NBC — predictably infuriated with the turn of events — said of the decision: “WHDH’s move is a flagrant violation of the terms of their contract with NBC. If they persist, we will strip WHDH of its NBC affiliation. We have a number of other strong options in the Boston market, including using our existing broadcast license to launch an NBC owned-and-operated station.”