Amid turmoil at Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Present” over plunging rankings, his exec producer Jim Bell is leaving NBC and is in talks to join a 2020 presidential campaign, Web page Six has solely discovered.
“As we speak” present vet Bell, who has a diploma in political science and authorities from Harvard, leaves Fallon’s present Thursday. The chatter at NBC is that Bell has been speaking to Democratic hopefuls about a position on a 2020 campaign, doubtlessly creating media content material and messaging.
We solely reported in Might how he clashed with NBC leisure kingmaker Lorne Michaels, though they’re far much less frosty now, with Bell posting about Michaels on his varied social media channels. “Lorne had completely nothing to do with Bell’s departure,” sources burdened.
Bell has spent 28 years at NBC, and is leaving after only one yr at Fallon’s flailing present. He presided over “As we speak” for seven years, shifting to one other NBC position after the Ann Curry debacle. Bell was additionally shut pals with disgraced host Matt Lauer, helmed NBC’s Olympics protection and was in cost in Sochi, Russia, the place Lauer was alleged to have raped producer Brooke Nevils. We’re instructed Bell’s NBC exit will not be straight related to the Lauer fallout. Lauer denies the allegation.
A TV supply known as Bell’s exit from the community “very shocking,” significantly as he was supervising the Olympics manufacturing in Tokyo for 2020.
One other insider known as Bell a “forceful” man working inside a “present tradition downside” at “The Tonight Present.” Bell is claimed to have believed “SNL” boss Michaels was “caught in the previous” and didn’t perceive that Fallon wanted to reinvent himself to compete with CBS rival Stephen Colbert, who’s averaging 3.5 million viewers, in contrast with roughly 2 million for Fallon, who’s trailing in third place behind ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel.
Among the present’s writers additionally didn’t see eye to eye with Bell, and a third NBC insider stated, “That is a good contemporary begin.”
Gavin Purcell is interim showrunner.
In a assertion, Bell stated, “The previous yr with Jimmy and the terrific staff on the present has been a blast.” He added he had a “robust need to delve into one thing new … so I can broaden and deepen my management position in the content material universe.”