No, it’s not true that NBC is so happy about Conan’s increased ratings of late that they’re having second thoughts, and thinking of keeping Conan but replacing Andy Richter with Jeff Zucker so they can verbally spar and abuse each other on a nightly basis, mano a mano.
The real reason is that Conan O’Brien’s exit deal has been held up as he and NBC haggle over his desire to get severance deals for his “Tonight Show” staff, the Associated Press reports.
The two sides are also still not in agreement on who keeps rights to his comedy bits such as Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog,
O’Brien is "dug in” on the severance for staff, one person on his side said, which prompted a statement from NBC that said "it was Conan’s decision to leave NBC that resulted in nearly 200 of his staffers being out of work." The network added that “We have already agreed to pay millions of dollars to compensate every one of them. This latest posturing is nothing more than a PR ploy."
–Chuck Ross and Elizabeth Jensen