A FOX owned website, FOX News.com, claims that NBC personality Conan O'Brien is in talks with the network to jump ship from NBC and get his own 11:35 pm late night show on FOX. Coming from a FOX owned website, the news might be a pretty reliable inside source that indeed Conan O'Brien will quit NBC. However, by leaving the network and signing with another network, it could cut the share of the $50 million that NBC would owe O'Brien according to the complex contract terms that he signed. So that's not such a good deal for O'Brien.
But, there are some real pitfalls here for O'Brien. At NBC, O'Brien at least has a stable job that he is unlikely to lose. But, O'Brien has lost at least 52% of the old TONIGHT SHOW audience. On FOX, he only risks having a much smaller audience yet or even ending up without a job if cancellation comes. A move to FOX for a declining entity like O'Brien might just be the worst career move ever.
NBC made a major tactical mistake by moving Jay Leno to prime-time and Conan O'Brien to 11:35. But, Conan O'Brien could only complicate his situation by a move to FOX or any other network for that matter.