The NBC television network is insisting that its new primetime talk show, hosted by Jay Leno, is a go in Boston despite the plans of network's affiliate WHDH-TV (Channel 7), which intends to air a 10 p.m. newscast in its place.
"Jay Leno fans will not be disappointed,'' said John Eck, president of NBC TV Network in a statement. "Make no mistake, the new Leno show will air at 10 p.m. weeknights in the Boston market on NBC."
NBC officials stood by their threat, made yesterday, to pull WHDH's affiliation license if it pursued plans to bump Leno's new show, scheduled to debut in September. An executive familiar with the situation said NBC has options in the area to broadcast its programming. That may include WNEU-TV, the local affiliate of Telemundo, which NBC owns. NBC can also find another independent station in the region to air NBC shows, the official said.
"We have a number of other strong options in the Boston market, including using our existing broadcast license to launch an NBC owned and operated station,'' Eck added.
Ed Ansin, who owns WHDH and sister station WLVI-TV (Channel 56), believes that he will gain more viewers by airing a one-hour newscast at 10 pm.
"Fundamentally for us, it would be the new 11 o'clock," Ansin told the Globe yesterday. (By Johnny Diaz, Globe staff)