Murdoch says Fox, Conan have had "conversations"

Wed Feb 3, 2010 3:02am EST
 
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By Georg Szalai

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - Fox is exploring its late-night options, but hasn't started any "real" negotiations with Conan O'Brien yet as the network explores whether it could bring the former host of NBC's "Tonight Show" into the fold.

News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch said on his quarterly earnings call Tuesday that there are "different opinions" at the network on the topic.

"If the programing people can show us we can do it ... and make a profit, we would do it in a flash," he said, adding there is a lot of thought and exploration going into the examination.

Asked if there have been talks with O'Brien, Murdoch said he was "sure there have been some conversations" but "no real negotiations."

O'Brien wrapped his brief "Tonight Show" run last month, but is prevented from joining another network until September. If Fox wanted to bring O'Brien aboard, it would have to persuade affiliates to give up some of their lucrative reruns.