FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Monday, September 27, 2004

Jay Leno to Retire in 2009; Conan Will Replace

Tonight Show host Jay Leno has announced that he will retire in 2009, handing the reins of the late-night legacy to Conan O'Brien. One has to wonder what the face of late-night TV will be like five years hence. On the one hand, Leno and his late-night kin play a large role in forming popular opinion, particularly in political matters. But on the other, network TV appears to be on the decline, under a full-scale assault from cable and broadband Internet.

What kind of media world will Conan inherit? It'll be one that he was a driving force in creating, yet it will also be shaped by uncontrollable outside elements. Will there even be a Tonight Show in 2009, or an NBC? Will the hot new late-night show be on cable, streamed through the Internet, or come to us through some other emerging medium?

More importantly, what will become of Carson Daly???