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Is Howard Stern part of NBC's Jay Leno exit strategy?
There was a lot of rumor and very little substance this week as speculation ran wild that NBC is planning to announce this spring that the 2013-2014 season will be Jay Leno's last on the "Tonight Show," with Jimmy Fallon taking over the 11:30 hour.
According to The NY Post, though, Howard Stern also has a place in NBC's changing late-night brand.
The paper reports that sources close to Stern -- so take this with as many grains of salt as you choose -- say that NBC is "grooming" Stern to take over the 12:30 hour as Fallon's replacement.
Stern, who has made multiple attempts to transition into late-night, including a Saturday night show that ran on CBS stations for four years and a E! version of his radio show, which ran for 11 years.
NBC has seen Stern first-hand as one of the judges on "America's Got Talent," where his initial season did nothing to raise ratings for the already successful reality show last summer.
Stay tuned to see if any of this pans out.