The Hollywood Radio and Television Society (HRTS) is the premier forum for Hollywood’s power players to get together, pretend to be friends and share their insights on the business.
As usual, their lunch on Tuesday (Feb 23) attracted the biggest players in the TV industry.
Which provided a perfect chance for the Dish Rag
exclusively question these honchos about a new home for Conan O’Brien,
perhaps even on their networks.
Here’s what they carefully said:
“I’m a big part of NBC/Universal so it’s hard for me to comment, but I’m a big fan of his,” Lauren Zalaznick, President, NBC Universal Women & Lifestyle Entertainment Networks, tells the Dish Rag. Want more? Read on:
“I’m a huge fan of Conan. A daily show for us would be really challenging, and I think that’s what he would be interested in. Bill Maher, with his weekly (and not even that sometimes), is the right fit for us. But I hope he finds a home soon because I miss watching him.”
— Michael Lombardo, President of Programming and West Coast Operations for HBO
“I’m a very huge fan, but for TNT, which is a drama brand, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. For TBS, it’s a comedy brand, and we’re really happy with George Lopez, but I’ll never say never.”
— Steve Koonin, President, Turner Entertainment Networks
“I love Conan. To be honest, we haven’t discussed it, it’s not on our radar right now. But who doesn’t love Conan? He’s fantastic. George Lopez is a huge hit and a success story for us.”
— Michael Wright, Executive Vice President, Turner Entertainment Networks
“Conan is terrific, and really Conan has a home at every one of the networks at HRTS. But we’re basically a non-fiction network. Probably though, Conan is someone everyone should be examining at this lunch and wondering if there is a place for him on their network. “
— Peter Ligouri, Chief Operating Officer, Discovery Communications
“I’m a personal fan. But it doesn’t seem like a particularly likely fit given who we are — AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel and WE tv. If you evaluate those channels, they’re on sort of different missions. But he’s just such a talented guy, he’ll be back soon somewhere.”
— Joshua Sapan, President/CEO, Rainbow Media Holdings.
“We’re very intrigued. I think bigger fish are going to hook Mr. O’Brien, but if he had an interest in being involved with us, we’d love to talk to him.”
— Kevin Beggs, President of Television Programming and Production, Lionsgate
“I’m a huge fan, I’d love him to host some of our shows and events. We have an afternoon show starting on MTV and I’d love him to come on by. He has a core loyal fan following among the MTV demo, in particular young college men.”
— Van Toffler, President, MTV Networks Music/Films/Logo Group.