"An ultimatum was put in front of me," Carson Daly told the Los Angeles Times about his decision to bring back his late-night show without writers during the W.G.A. strike. "It was, ‘Put a new show on Dec. 3 or 75 people are fired. What’s your answer?’ " He quickly decided that he couldn’t live with the notion of putting loyal staffers out of work. Mr. Daly said he’d heard from a couple of his striking writers, who were "very supportive" of his decision. Asked who at NBC delivered the ultimatum, Daly replied that it was his "immediate bosses" but declined to be more specific.
For a guy who’s built his entire broadcasting persona around a kind of well-scrubbed, All-American affability, it’s been a devastating turn of events, although Daly’s trying hard to stay focused on the New Year’s show and beyond.
"I couldn’t wait to get on the air my first night to just talk," he said. "It felt like people were drawing their own conclusions. And the biggest thing that bothered me was that people thought I had a choice . . . as if I wanted to come back, and come back without my writers.