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David Letterman wants Tom Snyder

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What David Letterman wants, David Letterman gets. But even CBS’ golden boy may not have enough clout to make Tom Snyder the host of the network’s proposed 12:30 a.m. show. There are unconfirmed reports that the prickly negotiations between Snyder and CBS have broken down over money. At press time, it was unclear whether a deal was still in the making.

According to sources, CBS has never shared Letterman’s enthusiasm for the broadcaster. ”Dave loves Tom, and Dave’s opinion is valued,” says CBS vice president Rod Perth, ”but other candidates are being considered.” Admits one insider, ”Everyone at CBS doesn’t want Snyder. He skews too old.” Late Show executive producer Robert Morton, on the other hand, denies any difference of opinion. ”Everybody wants (Tom),” he insists. ”We have enormous respect for his talent.”

A dispute over salary may not be the only issue — Snyder could face stiff penalties for walking out on his CNBC contract before it’s up in January ’95. CBS, however, may face even stiffer penalties if it doesn’t give its $14 million man what he wants.