Boston affiliate WHDH is engaged in a hilarious standoff with NBC over Jay Leno’s upcoming prime-time debut. The station (located in Leno’s hometown!) has announced that, come September, it will air its own hour-long local-news program at 10 o’clock, not the talk show. According to WHDH’s owner, “We don’t think the Leno show is going to be effective in primetime. It will be detrimental to our 11 o’clock newscast. It will be very adverse to our finances.”
So far, WHDH is the only affiliate to take a stand over Leno, though many have apparently expressed concern over the minuscule boost they receive from NBC’s low-rated prime-time lineup. Ben Silverman’s strategy of “managing for margins, not ratings” doesn’t help, likely because it’s so hard to shoehorn Knight Rider-style product placements into local-news broadcasts. Nothing against Leno, really, but we think we’d probably rather watch WHDH’s hour-long news show, if only because we find local news infinitely funnier than any talk show could ever be.