Agreement Expected in NBC’s Talks With O’Brien

Bill Carter|The New York Times

NBC and representatives of the network’s disaffected “Tonight Show” host, Conan O’Brien, have continued negotiations to settle his contract, but no outcome was expected Friday, according to one participant in the talks.

Conan O'Brien
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A meeting was scheduled between the two sides for Saturday morning, another executive with knowledge of the talks said on Friday evening.

The executive, who like the participant in the negotiations spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not final, said a settlement was getting close, with many of the basic details agreed upon.

Mr. O’Brien, who had a guaranteed contract for another two and a half years at a salary that has been reported to be $10 million to $20 million a year, is expected to get a settlement that will pay him more than $30 million. In addition, under the terms now on the table, he would win the right to start a new show at some other network, probably as early as September.

The Fox network has made public its interest in a possible show with Mr. O’Brien, though many questions remain about how easily that network could clear the late-night schedules of its stations to make room for Mr. O’Brien.

The two executives who discussed the details of the talks said that an Internet report Friday claiming the deal was already final and would be announced later in the evening was incorrect.

One of the executives said it was likely that Mr. O’Brien would host the show for one more week starting Monday.