HR lessons from late night TV feuds (Guest commentary)

Involve top talent in succession planning
By Andrea Duggan
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 02/03/2010

If you don’t know about the late night television employment war at NBC, where have you been? Quick recap to catch you up if you are not in the know: In the fall, the Tonight Show torch was passed from Jay Leno to Conan O’Brien.

As NBC’s career succession plan, which was years in the making, came to fruition, it decided to make a new job for Leno, doing pretty much exactly the same thing — just at a different time.

Leno — the older, wiser, long-loved employee — has not done as well as predicted in his new time. His overall productivity (jokes and parodies) just hasn’t been working and, hence, his profitability (measured in ratings and advertising dollars) has been sliding.