The report quotes anonymous "high-level industry sources" saying NBC is rapidly losing viewers to ABC's Jimmy Kimmel who recently moved his show to the 10:35 p.m. time slot.
One source said:
"The more time Jimmy Kimmel is in that slot, the more the young audience goes that way, the harder it is for [Fallon] to keep that audience."
Another source noted:
"Kimmel has done extremely well. Jay wins overall, but on any given night, it's neck-and-neck in 18-49. I understand where they might have fear and also feel that they own the solution [in Fallon.]"
A Leno rep told the Hollywood Reporter, "We do not speculate on rumor."
If Leno left the Tonight Show, it would be his second exit from the late-night staple. In 2010, Leno left the Tonight Show to host an ill-fated 9 p.m. program, leaving the door open to Conan O'Brien to take over the Tonight Show. But when Leno's prime-time show tanked, he came back to the Tonight Show, pushing O'Brien out, who has since launched a prime-time show on TBS.