Conan Named As Next "Tonight Show" Host

NBC names Conan O'Brien as next "Tonight Show" host

NBC has announced that Jay Leno will be stepping down as host of the "Tonight Show" -- but not for another five years. The big news is the naming of his eventual successor: fellow late-night host Conan O'Brien. His show currently follows Leno's. Leno plans to make the announcement on tonight's program -- a special celebration of the "Tonight Show's" 50th anniversary. Leno says he'll be 59 years old in 2009 -- when he'll mark 17 years in what he calls "his dream job." He says there's "no one" more qualified to fill his shoes than O'Brien.

The announcement solves a delicate problem for NBC, where O'Brien has apparently been getting bored in his later "Late Night" time slot -- and has said he wants to move on.