CELEBRITY Is Jay Leno about to join CNN?
Network needs a boost and the Tonight Show host may provide it
Jay Leno, CNN might want to stick a press card in your hat.
With his gig on NBC’s Tonight Show wrapping up early next year, the 63-year-old comedian is thinking about his next move. And published reports say that CNN boss Jeff Zucker has recently visited Leno, possibly to discuss coming over to the cable news network.
It would be a reunion of sorts, since Zucker was Leno’s boss when he ran NBC Universal.
A CNN spokeswoman did not immediately return an e-mail requesting comment. But a Leno-CNN marriage could make sense for both parties. Zucker is struggling to boost the network’s ratings, and Leno has long hosted the No. 1 talk show in late night.
Jimmy Fallon will take over the Tonight desk in February.
Meanwhile, Leno — who has made it clear he would like to keep working in TV — could keep a national platform for his topical comedy if CNN brought him aboard.
On the other hand, Leno doesn’t exactly scream “programming breakthrough” — and that’s what CNN needs at this point. And it looks as if Zucker will have plenty of competition — according to the Hollywood Reporter, at least 10 companies are seeking Leno’s services, including Tribune, which owns the Los Angeles Times.