Jay Leno Takes Salary Cut Amid Mass Layoff of Tonight Show Staffers
3:37 pm, August 18th, 2012
NBC laid off about two dozen “Tonight Show” staffers on Friday to cut costs, and host Jay Leno took a significant reduction in pay in order to save others.
Leno is believed to make as much as $30 million annually as the face of late night TV’s top-rated broadcast, but corporate cost-cutting decisions will leave the show with a smaller budget.
Between 20 and 25 staffers were let go on Friday, according to multiple reports.
Leno, who’s hosted the show since 1992 (except for Conan O’Brien’s ill-fated 2009 interlude), has famously said that he saves every penny he earns from “The Tonight Show” and lives off the money he makes from other standup gigs.
It’s not clear how many jobs Leno’s salary cut will save as NBC’s corporate parent Comcast reportedly tightens the show’s weekly budget from $2.3 million to $1.7 million.
“Jay’s foremost concern is for the wonderful people who work for ‘The Tonight Show,’” his spokesperson Bruce Bobbins said in a statement. “He did what was necessary to ensure their well being.”
The cuts were first reported by Deadline.
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