During a conference call to discuss News Corp.'s second quarter earnings yesterday, Rupert Mudoch said Fox and Conan O'Brien have had discussions about the pasty redhead joining the network but no "real negotiations." The irascible old Aussie said there's currently a lot of calculating going on inside the network. "We're giving it a lot of thought and a lot of examination," he said.
The key though, as it is with all business decision, is whether Conan can actually make Fox money, Murdoch said. He added that negotiations between Fox and its affiliates will be difficult because reruns of Seinfeld, which Conan would boot, are just so damn profitable. What Murdoch didn't mention is that by giving Conan his own show, Fox would be get to play the role of populist hero and thumb its nose at NBC, two things it absolutely loves.
Rupert Murdoch needs to be convinced Conan O'Brien can make money for Fox [Company Town/LAT]