Welcome to The Late Shift Part II: Broadcasting & Cable reports that NBC Universal President Jeff Zucker and Entertainment co-chair Marc Graboff recently wined and dined Daily Show anchor Jon Stewart in a talk characterized as "exploratory" and which mirrors other recent high-profile courtships like recently signed head programmer Ben Silverman and Meredith Viera. Stewart's contract with Comedy Central is up in 2008, and the network is reportedly watching its costs in part to maintain him, but a jump to network TV for Stewart—who has been said to covet Letterman's chair over at CBS—apparently isn't unthinkable. Meanwhile, NBC has expressed interest in Stewart for its 12:30 EST late-night slot, following the recent announcement that Conan O'Brien is scheduled to take over the Tonight Show chair in 2009. (According to the article, should the network renege on its decision and keep Jay Leno, O'Brien is still expected to leave the network—albeit with a healthy $40 million payout.)

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