No need to revisit the details beyond this sketch: NBC blew it. They blew it first of all by going with Leno back when Carson retired; Leno wasn't very funny then and hasn't improved. Of course, NBC saved itself some public grief by not having interns-who-could-be-his-daughter-chasing David Letterman around, but this is a company that anchors its news/talk channel with a jumped-up boxscore reader who has yet to learn that the worst person in the world is looking out his mirror, so their prescience may safely be questioned. Then they blew it again by trying to shove Leno out the door before he was ready and moving Conan O'Brian into his slot, and blew it yet a third time by putting pretty much the exact same Leno show on in primetime they used to have on after the news. Nobody watched it -- kind of like the jumped-up boxscore reader -- and so in order to save some kind of advertising dollars NBC pulled the plug on Leno's show.
Then they blew it by trying to keep him, because the only way to do that was to bump O'Brian, who wasn't in a "bump me" mood and demanded a buyout. So now NBC has paid O'Brian a lot of money to not be watched -- which of course they already do with the jumped-up boxscore reader, so maybe there's a habit here that needs breaking.
So after months of turmoil and crappy ratings, millions of dollars and no end of what looks like bad faith, NBC is back where they started, with a name-brand show hosted by a lame-brained dolt.