The full story is that Jay Leno announced that he will retire in 5 years from hosting a US TV show, The Tonight Show, and that Conan O'Brien will then become host. Perhaps 50 million people watch The Tonight Show, affecting their lives to an extent equivalent to a fraction of the length of the daily show--let's say 1 minute of their lifetimes per day. That would give a total of about 0.8 million life-hours / (24 hours/day x 365 days/year) = about 95 life-years per day. Over a career of about 17 years, that would be 600,000 life-years.
Human News aims to devote 1 character to each 40,000 life-years, or 1000 average lives. Thus, this story has about 600,000 / 40,000 = 15 characters.