Conan O'Brien Negotiates Almost $40 Million To Leave NBC

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Jan. 19 2010, Published 2:50 p.m. ET

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Conan O'Brien is in the final stages of negotiating a deal worth nearly $40 million to walk away from his job as host of NBC's Tonight Show after just seven months.

The comedian's pay-off, which could be completed today, will prevent Conan from badmouthing his former NBC bosses, sources tells the Wall Street Journal, but it coud pave the way for him to land another television gig within a year.

Meanwhile, TMZ puts Conan's consolation prize money at $32.5 million, but in return he cannot host another show until September.

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In addition to the $32.5 million that they're paying Conan, TMZ says NBC is paying severance to Conan's Tonight Show employees, adding up to a total of $40 million.

However, the Web site points out that Conan probably won't see the entire severance package. Under the deal, any money he makes during the remaining contract period with NBC will offset the network's obligation.

So, if Fox were to make a deal with Conan, whatever they paid him during the NBC contract period would be subtracted from Conan's $32.5 million.


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