The Tonight Show is going to come back on the airwaves a bit leaner as over the weekend the show cut 20 staffers from it’s ranks and producers to take lesser salaries. In addition, the show’s host, Jay Leno himself has taken a “tremendous” pay cut himself in order to save as many jobs he could and keep the layoffs to a minimum. Leno has gone on record in the past to say that he could very comfortably live off the salary he makes from appearance and stand-up gigs he books throughout the year without touching his reported $30M Tonight Show salary.
On Saturday, Leno’s spokesperson released this brief statement: “Jay’s foremost concern is for the wonderful people who work for The Tonight Show. He did what was necessary to ensure their well-being.”
Why these cuts? Especially since The Tonight Show is consistently the most highly rated show in late night? It appears it’s more on Comcast, the parent company that recently purchased NBC is still going through the books to see where money can be saved. Even though Leno is wildly popular at late night and the show’s sales/earnings are good it appears he’s not excluded from the overall budget trimming.