NBC: Conan O’Brien reaches $45M exit deal
New York — Conan O’Brien bid NBC good riddance Thursday in a $45 million deal for his exit from “The Tonight Show,” but his immediate future in television remains a question mark.
The contentious two-week battle that would allow NBC to unseat O’Brien and move Jay Leno back to the program he hosted for 17 years, comes less than eight months after O’Brien took the “Tonight” throne from Leno.
Under the deal, O’Brien will get more than $33 million, NBC said. The rest will go to his 200-strong staff in severance.
What happens next for O’Brien?
“We don’t know,” his manager, Gavin Polone, said Thursday. “While we have had expressions of interest, we have not had any substantive conversations with anybody.”
With O’Brien’s exit official, CBS’s David Letterman and Leno are set to renew head-to-head competition at 10:35 p.m. CST on March 1 when Leno returns to “The Tonight Show.”
Beyonce, Madonna join Haiti telethon
New York — Beyonce and Madonna have been added as performers to today’s multi-network “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon, and Denzel Washington, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and former President Bill Clinton are among the participants.
A statement released Thursday said Beyonce would perform from London, and Madonna from New York City. The list of musical performers already includes such heavyweights as Bruce Springsteen, Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake and Keith Urban.
An estimated 200,000 people were killed after a powerful earthquake struck Haiti last week, devastating the nation.
The two-hour telethon will be shown on all the major networks and a host of other channels at 7 p.m. CST.
Also Thursday, DiCaprio announced he was donating $1 million to the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund, the relief effort led by former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and one of the organizations benefiting from the telethon.
Coldplay, Arctic Monkeys to raise funds for Haiti
London — Coldplay, the Arctic Monkeys and Blur’s Damon Albarn are donating items to be sold at a charity auction beginning today to raise funds for Haiti earthquake victims, auction organizers said.
The items on sale will include an offer from Albarn to record a specially written piece of music, the white electric guitar Fender Stratocaster played by Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner in the band’s first video, and Coldplay singer Chris Martin’s signed Viva La Vida tour jacket.
All proceeds will go to charity Oxfam’s work in Haiti.
The auction will be conducted on the Web site eBay starting this morning and running for 10 days, organizer Emily Eavis said.