Rupert Murdoch, head of News Corp. (owner of Fox), said today that the programmers at the network need to "show us we can do it (hire Conan to host a new late night talk show) and be fairly confident of making a profit."
"We’re giving it a lot of thought and a lot of examination," he told reporters during a conference call, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.
Fox would need to get its affiliate stations to carry O'Brien's new show instead of the "Seinfeld" or "Frasier" reruns they may be showing today -- reruns that bring in a lot of lucrative ad revenue. "I’m sure we’d have difficult renegotiations" with the affiliates, Murdoch said.
He added that although there have been some conversations with O'Brien's camp, there have been no "real negotiations" yet.