B&C’s Ben Grossman says all the talk about the uncertain future of Nightline gives ABC News time to plan. The talk centers around Jay Leno who could end up at ABC. There is also talk that Leno could be presented a deal that would keep him at NBC while forcing out Conan O’Brien, making him available to ABC. Still, Grossman argues, keep the Nightline brand.
Yes, the 11:35 pm weeknight version of the show will probably be gone by the end of next year, even if NBC decides not to jettison Leno and ABC ends up with Conan O’Brien. But the Nightline brand has equity, and in a cluttered marketplace in which broadcast networks are scrambling for footholds, there is little more valuable than a known commodity. ABC needs to find a way to keep the brand intact, whether it means moving it to another time slot, a series of primetime specials, a major online presence or all of the above. And it should start prepping now.
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