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Jay Leno welcome to host new show in Burbank, his landlord says

April 10, 2013|By Roger Vincent
  • Entertainment real estate landlord Jeff Worthe shown in 2008 during construction of a new office tower for show biz tenants in Burbank.
Entertainment real estate landlord Jeff Worthe shown in 2008 during construction… (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles…)

Jay Leno is welcome to stick around Burbank after “The Tonight Show” departs for New York next year, his landlord said, but the loss of the show will not wound the local entertainment real estate market.

“We love having ‘The Tonight Show’ and specifically Jay Leno on the lot,” said Jeff Worthe, president of Worthe Real Estate Group, which owns the former NBC lot where the show has been filmed for four decades.

If Leno wants to host another television show, Worthe said, “he is more than welcome to do it on our property.”

Worthe expressed dismay that the state of New York recently approved tax breaks worth millions of dollars that apply only to established out-of-state programs such as “The Tonight Show.”

“It’s a political issue worth looking into later,” Worthe said.

NBC will also have to pay a price for letting “The Tonight Show” walk out of 3000 W. Alameda Ave. before its lease is up, the landlord said.

The Times reported in 2010 that NBC would rent Studio 11 for recording the show and Studio 9 for rehearsal and skits. The show may be leaving, but there is still money owed under the eight-year lease, which started in 2011: At the time, real estate experts valued the lease at $35 million.

NBC “would have to terminate their lease with a penalty,” Worthe said. He did not disclose how much the penalty might be.

A spokeswoman for NBCUniversal said the company would have discussions with the landlord in the near future.

Entertainment businesses move frequently, and the Los Angeles region remains the hub of the action, Worthe said. The departure of “The Tonight Show” will not hurt the region financially.

“It’s just one show,” Worthe said. “Do you know how many TV shows are out there?”

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