The sticking point in Conan O'Brien's exit negotiations with NBC may involve his TV staff, not Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.
A person close to the talks said Tuesday that O'Brien is intent on guaranteeing severance deals for his "Tonight Show" staff and crew and he is dug in on that point. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the contract talks were intended to be private.
The issue of whether NBC retains rights to familiar O'Brien comedy bits including Triumph or Pimpbot 5000 was undecided Tuesday but not a key issue for O'Brien, whose focus was his staff's welfare, the person said.
The proposed deal could pay more than $30 million to O'Brien to leave NBC and "Tonight," allowing Jay Leno to move back to late night.
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