Jay Leno came to Salem, MA Monday, a town in the shadow of Boston, where the station manager of WHDH-TV, the Boston NBC affiliate, has said he will not run Leno's 10 00 p.m. nightly variety show next fall and will replace it with a one-hour local newscast instead. Speaking at a news conference prior to his appearance at a charity event at Salem State College, Leno referred to the fact that NBC owns the Telemundo outlet in Boston, where his program could be slotted.. "If I have to speak Spanish and do it on Telemundo, well then ..." Leno quipped. "Whatever happens happens. I assume it will work out. This is one of those things, and I'm flattered that it became public when my name was involved," he added. He also gave a thumbnail preview of his upcoming show, saying, "We will probably lose the couch and the desk and just do more things. We'll still have celebrities. There will still be a monologue, the stuff that works, headlines, and Jaywalking." He later appeared at Salem State College to raise money for a scholarship fund named after the widow of local nightclub owner Lennie Sogoloff, who helped give Leno his start. Before Leno took the stage, Sogoloff remarked that the news that Leno would be replaced by a local newscast was like being in a theater and hearing the announcement, "The part of Jay Leno tonight will be played by Pee Wee Herman." At the end of his act, Leno pulled an envelope from his pocket and remarked, "Lennie, I've got $100,000 for you, pal." He then went out into the audience, handed Sogoloff the envelope and left the theater to a standing ovation.

07/04/2009