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NBC, Leno and Team Conan: A “Familiar Workplace Mess?”

Is the recent drama with Conan O’Brien over at NBC hitting a little too close to home? Perhaps you’ve seen this sort of thing before? Like, maybe…at your own office?

Today, NPR compared the recent high-profile contract disputes between the network and the soon-to-be-former “The Tonight Show” host to a “surprisingly familiar workplace mess,” where NBC’s efforts to get around the contract it made with Conan six years ago - and more or less force Conan out – are not unlike what you might see in today’s workforce when poor management mistakes are made.  

 Additionally, where NBC has succeeded in alienated Conan fans (a.k.a. Team Conan) with its behavior, employers too risk alienating the entire staff when they do something that is seen as unfair (even if they insist on attributing it to “cost-cutting” measures).

Of course, NBC being the powerhouse it is, the risk of the company losing overall viewership over Conan backlash is probably slim to none.  Any other employer, however, might not recover so easily – and risk losing the trust of the rest of the staff, consequently doing serious damage to both morale and its employment brand. After all, employees reason, if management is willing to  treat one employee this way, who’s to say it won’t do the same to anyone else?

Additionally, NPR argues that Leno represents the loyal, high-performing worker who was hastily “pushed out for a new guy on the theory that he was too old,” and, now back, comes off looking to his staff like the guy who bullied the other guy out of his position – as a result of management’s mistakes, no less. That doesn’t bode well for morale, either.

What do you think? Does the NBC-Leno-Conan mess seem all too familiar to you? How would you have handled the situation?

Mary Lorenz

About Mary Lorenz

Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.
Rsemarie Sakkesad
Rsemarie Sakkesad

I feel sensitive about the situation that some poweful work place just can put you out and alienate whenever,they want too.I feel sorry for all the victims especially if they can't do anything about it.I have the same situation and i understand Conan O'Brian's frustration.In my situation,i'm crying for justice because they put me out from my job just like Conan.


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