Jeff Zucker: NBC Not Blocking Leno’s Guests

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Photo: Patrick McMullan

At Vulture, we're fastidious about our fact-checking — so, it was with unbelievably good luck that we found ourselves at the Founders Club Celebration at the Rockefeller Center Channel Garden last night with the president of NBC Universal, Jeff Zucker. Just yesterday, we ran a post based on this report from Nikki Finke, in which she says that not only could Zucker's golf game use some improvement, but also that NBC has demanded that Jay Leno "back off booking A-list celebrities [on his upcoming prime-time show] because it would encroach on Conan O'Brien's turf." As Zucker was leaving, we managed to briefly accost him to get his reaction, and the following exchange ensued.

Nikki Finke reported that—
I don't know who that is.

Okay, well she reported that NBC is trying to block Jay Leno from booking A-list guests. Is that correct?
Is that a serious question?

Earlier: So How Bad Will Jay Leno’s Guests Be?

She reported that NBC doesn't want him to steal the thunder from Conan.
No. Please. There's no truth to that.

(Sadly, he got away before we could ask our golf questions.)

Earlier: So How Bad Will Jay Leno’s Guests Be?