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Departure of Jay Leno, 'Tonight Show' a blow to L.A., Burbank

April 03, 2013|By Times Staff Writers and Times Community News

The announcement that Jay Leno will be replaced by Jimmy Fallon and that "The Tonight Show" would move from Burbank to New York next year was met with disappointment by L.A. officials.

“Obviously, it is a great disappointment that 'The Tonight Show' will move back to New York after four decades in Burbank to accommodate its new host," said Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian in a statement.

Burbank officials have been trying to keep "The Tonight Show" in their hometown.

PHOTOS: Classic 'Tonight Show' moments

Last month, Burbank Mayor Dave Golonski drafted letter to NBC executives asking them to reconsider the plans to move “The Tonight Show” from Burbank to New York.

“We would be extremely disappointed if the plans to move ‘The Tonight Show’ go through,” Golonski said at the time. “We would like it to remain in Burbank and the region.”

Krekorian said in his statement that he's been in talks with NBC to make sure other programming remains in the L.A. area.

"NBC has personally assured me of the network’s continuing commitment to increase production in Southern California," he said. "'The Tonight Show’s' move east will not dampen our resolve to fight for jobs in Los Angeles and beyond.”

According to the Los Angeles Times' Company Town blog, NBC confirmed that Jimmy Fallon will succeed Jay Leno as host of "The Tonight Show" in the spring 2014.

Although Leno is still the most-watched late-night television host, NBC is making the move because it thinks Fallon will do better with younger viewers in the years to come.

NBC has not determined a specific date for the switch but Fallon will likely be showcased during the network's coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics from Sochi, Russia, because there is a potentially large audience available.

Leno’s departure comes after 22 years with the show. That’s second only to Johnny Carson, who served as host for 40 years.

As part of the upcoming transition, “Tonight” will be returning to its original home at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York.

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