Conan O’Brien, in his first interview since leaving NBC, said network executives decided he should be the late-night host to "go away" because Jay Leno would have required an enormous payout, perhaps as much as $150 million, to leave, Bill Carter in the New York Times reports.
While O’Brien is prohibited from appearing in television or newspaper interviews before May 1, his discussion with "60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Kroft will be broadcast on Sunday. CBS released the excerpts on Thursday, the Los Angeles Times’ Show Tracker blog reports.
O’Brien, who reportedly received a $33 million payout to leave NBC, tells Kroft that he wouldn’t have made the same choices as Leno.
"He went and took that show back and I think in a similar situation, if roles had been reversed, I know — I know me, I wouldn’t have done that," O’Brien said. Asked what he would have done, O’Brien responded, "Done something else, go someplace else. I mean, that’s just me."