It's not news that Leno's 10 PM show is doing somewhat poorly in the ratings. It also shouldn't be news that some NBC affiliates are starting to question the wisdom of removing scripted programming from the 10 o'clock hour.
Imagine if you're an affiliate and your 10 P.M. programming was losing in the ratings to some cable network (reminiscent of the movie UHF). In effect, more people are watching programming that they have to pay for than the product you're offering for free. The affiliates could put local programing such as news at that hour and get higher ratings.
It's entirely possibly that Leno's ratings will rebound and NBC executives will be laughing about this next year (although admittedly not likely). From a personal standpoint, three hours of nighttime talk show is too much, no matter how much cheaper it is for the network.
Will NBC have an affiliate revolt on its hands? Given the ratings, it may very well be.